Heating up in the summer sun

Inverell player Cooper Taveira battles for possession during a Northern Heat training drill in Armidale on Saturday. Fellow Saint Jayden Budda-Deen (right) looks on. Photo: Salty Fox Fotography

THE temperature rose for the latest Northern Heat Development Program session but the effort the boys and girls never wavered.

The groups gathered at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale on Saturday and were run through their paces for the second session of their summer long program.

As the mercury went past 33 degrees, both games worked on game sense drills and improving skills. Even as the sessions wound up, both groups were pleasingly able to display poise despite the fatigue.

Northern Heat Strength and Conditioning coach Matt Pine (right) outlines the fitness programs the Heat participants will undertake over the holiday period. Photo: Brad Greenshields

Not all of the session was held outdoors under the sun.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Pine designed running and strength programs for all Heat members to complete over the eight weeks until the next Heat session.

Half of the session was held inside the Sport UNE hall where Pine ran the talented juniors through the programs and demonstrated some of the finer points of the strength program activities.

Pine said the program has been designed to be an introduction to a high performance environment.

“It’s an introduction to to an AFL training environment and what an actual pre-season at that level looks like,” Pine said.

“The program has been catered to be relevant to their age group but it gives the group a taste of what AFL and AFLW players do.

“A lot of the bones is based around what the Sydney Swans have done. Completing the programs will give the group an opportunity to show the benefits that can be produced with some extra hard work.

“The first session involved fitness testing. Now they have the chance to do the program and when they return they will do those tests again. What they can see from this is that if they dig in and do the work, they should see the positive results after the second lot of testing.”

This summer is the first off-season that the Northern Heat Development Program has included a girls program. Photo: Salty Fox Fotography