January is a time for health and fitness resolutions. At Farlington, in addition to the extensive sports programme, the senior girls have access to a Fitness Suite all-year-round.
The facility contains cardiovascular equipment including exercise bikes, a rowing machine and a cross-trainer. There is also a suspension trainer, a dumbbell tree, a pull-up bar, plyometric boxes and space for body weight workouts. The area, which used to be the Year 11 locker room, was transformed with money raised by Farlington’s PTA.
Girls in Years 7 to 9 use it as part of their PE, health-related, fitness lessons where they put theory into practice and perform either circuits or interval training whilst learning about the body’s systems and the effect exercise has on them. Year 10 GCSE PE girls use the Fitness Suite as part of their learning about methods of training and the components of fitness. On Friday afternoons, Year 11 girls are able to use it as one of their sports options. Following an induction, Sixth Formers – day girls and boarders - can use it in pairs in free lessons and after school, as can the staff.
The noticeboard displays in the Fitness Suite contain fitness news and a selection of workout cards for inspiration. The music system keeps the girls motivated as well. When the weather is inclement, the Suite is another facility within the School which can be used. It also introduces the girls to fitness equipment and gyms and how to use them safely.
The Suite is managed by Jemma Wilson, Farlington PE teacher, who is also an experienced personal trainer. She says, “The girls really benefit from using the facility. It gives the less competitive an opportunity for fitness away from a games environment and enables our high-achieving athletes to focus on particular areas of their fitness.
“Some girls can be intimidated by a gym environment, so this is a great way to introduce them to using CV machines, weights and other equipment. We give them guidance on how to use the Fitness Suite effectively and safely, giving them the confidence to use gyms when they leave. At Farlington we believe it is essential all girls find a fitness activity they enjoy and can participate in well beyond their school years. Lifelong participation in physical activity is the key for all our girls, so the Fitness Suite is an undoubted asset to our PE department.”
Report and picture contributed by Farlington School.