Which athletes are currently using the HPC?
At the moment we have a lot of international guests here: the swimming teams from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Sweden, the French rowing team, and the track teams from Greece and Cyprus. [They are] all preparing for the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics [later this year]. We [usually] have local sponsored athletes that train here from time to time and utilise the gym, but none at the moment.
Does the HPC sponsor and train any athletes?
We do have sponsored athletes that we help prepare and train for events like the Olympics and World Championships. We start them off at the Sport Science Department, where they receive strength and conditioning training and key nutritional information about what they [should] eat. They will also see psychologists, because [we believe that] it’s not just about the intensive training itself, [but also about] the basics like the mind.
Depending on the season, do you see certain types of sport players come to the HPC?
We have a lot of international league rugby teams that come to visit throughout the year, like the British and Irish Lions, and also Australian teams. The local guys don’t usually use the HPC as much because they have specific clubs that they prefer to train at. Our busiest times are in June and July when we have rugby, hockey and netball teams that come from places in the southern hemisphere like New Zealand and Australia, and sometimes from places like Europe as well.
Is the gym at the HPC available for students?
Yes, it’s open for everyone. What is lovely is being from the public and training next to an Olympian. How cool is that? You can utilise the whole facility – you just need to know who to talk to. Our Sport Science unit does a lot of work with triathletes, so if you are possibly taking part in the Warrior Race, for example, and just want to check your fitness, you can make use of our services
Do you host any coaching clinics?
Not many clinics for the internationals, but we do have some for the local teams like swimming and rugby. We’ve got a mobile clinic unit that actually goes out to the different schools to help with coaching. We love [to] have schools come in to be a part of the HPC.
Photo: Ciske van den Heever