TABLE toppers Runcorn Linnets are looking in peak condition for their North West Counties Football League Premier Division promotion challenge – with help from the town’s Heath Leisure Suite.
Based at The Heath Business and Technical Park, on the former ICI Heath Offices site, the fitness centre is offering Linnets’ first-team squad unlimited access to its excellent facilities as the players bid for the league championship and a spot in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League for 2015-16.
Joey Dunn’s charges have already been training at the complex, which features gym, weights room, studio and physio room, for several weeks and have seen the benefits of topping up an already high level of fitness.
Mark McGrath, who manages the leisure suite for business park owners SOG Limited, has been suitably impressed by the fitness plans in place at the club.
He said: “The Runcorn Linnets have a prominent place in the community and we are excited to be part of it. We are looking forward to working alongside them.
“I believe the Runcorn Linnets team have got a great opportunity here as they can take full advantage of what the Heath Leisure Suite has to offer.
“The team has unlimited access to the gym’s facilities which is a unique offering and not something that other teams at this level often receive.
“I am really impressed with what I have seen so far – the standard of the fitness plans and regimes put in place by the management and coaches is very high, mirroring what is typical of teams at higher levels of football.
“In particular what I found impressive was the focus and emphasis on the injured players to make sure they make a quick recovery from injury.”
Runcorn Linnets chairman, Derek Greenwood said: “Support such as this from The Heath Leisure Suite really is important and invaluable to us.
“They have been hugely supportive, extremely accommodating and most generous in setting up this arrangement, which helps to make our training sessions as varied and professional as they can possibly be for a part-time club of our size and resources.
“We are only too glad to reciprocate by offering The Heath Leisure Centre pro-rata advertising space on our ground and website and in our match day programme.
Linnets’ club manager, Joey Dunn said: “Our management and coaching staff, along with club physiotherapist Carl Rutter, take genuine care in all aspects of match preparation and player well-being, showing great attention to detail.
“We have been given a terrific welcome by all at The Heath Leisure Suite and we cannot thank Mark McGrath and his staff enough.
“Their help will ensure our players are even fitter for the challenges ahead and also that we have excellent facilities for fuller assessment of injuries and rehabilitation.”
Runcorn Linnets are enjoying their most successful period since formation in 2006 while the leisure suite has likewise gone from strength to strength after opening eight and a half years ago.
Its current membership includes about 150 employees of companies based on the business park but the 7-day-a-week facility is open to the general public and all are welcome.
The Heath Leisure Suite has five fitness instructors with Level 3 personal training qualifications although they are not directly involved with the Linnets’ training as yet.
The centre is a training base for several international-class athletes, including Runcorn’s M40 200m world champion sprinter Darren Scott, Great Britain Bobsleigh athlete Rebekah Wilson (a competitor at last year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi), and GB 400m hurdler Abi Fitzpatrick, who is targeting the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Membership of the fitness centre can be taken out annually but is also available on a monthly basis – with no joining fees or contract – at £18-£20 per month, including classes.
The daily gym pass is £4 and a class pass costs £3.50. The suite has a ladies-only gym.
On completion of a short application form, membership can be paid by. cash, card, cheque or standing order.
For further information visit www.theheath.com/leisure or the Heath Leisure Suite page on Facebook.