AN athletes’ training centre at Tuerong has been attracting a host of sporting groups to the Mornington Peninsula, including Super Rugby team Melbourne Rebels, Monash University Storm Netball Club and the AFL Umpires’ Association.
The Compound, in Hunts Rd, specialises in outdoor training to suit all fitness levels, and focuses on using the correct techniques and building overall fitness and strength. Most training runs are done in a day, or even a few hours.
Trainers encourage the athletes to step outside their comfort zones with training typically found on a military field, or obstacle course, rather than on a pitch or a court.
The professional athletes work as a team to navigate the condensed five kilometre course, conquering obstacles such as the rope climb, monkey bars and giant quarter pipe.
This allows coaches and selectors to assess how teammates work together, as well as developing their communication skills. Some friendly competition is encouraged between the teams and, once their rounds have been completed, they can demonstrate skills learnt by completing the course individually.
“We wanted to provide a challenging yet fun environment for teams that is different to their usual sports training,” owner and trainer Clem Vertigan, said.
“As the teams are all professional athletes and have specific training programs in and out of season, it is important to provide something that is different and challenging for them to do, but to still make it fun. It is also vital that we consider individual athlete’s injuries and adapt their training program accordingly.”
With a background in martial arts and personal training, Mr Vertigan said the five acre former quarry was the ideal site for getting people together with fitness in mind.
“I had done the Tough Mudder event at Phillip Island in 2012 and had the idea of bringing other athletes to train at a central location about 18 months ago; this is it,” he said.
“The goal is to get them fit, bonded and working well as a team – while having fun.”
He said different obstacles catered to every type of sport and exercised “every muscle in the body”.
Some of the more difficult exercises involve climbing a rope and traversing a rope. “There’s a lot of technique involved, it’s not just strength,” he said.
“We’ve had athletes who cannot climb a rope and yet we’ve had 50-year-old mothers-of-four who can.”
Mr Vertigan said he had trained leading athletes from rugby, netball, AFL and obstacle-course racing. “This is great place to build and develop overall skills, ability, endurance and team work to suit all fitness levels and abilities.”