Exeter Chiefs put to the pre-season test by Exmouth Beach Rescue
The entire Exeter Chiefs Squad was on Exmouth Beach on Friday (13th July) to go through drills specially designed by Surf Life Saving GB member David Tidball (aka 'Tids') and his volunteer lifeguards from Exmouth Beach Rescue.
Tidball, who owns and runs the ‘Tad’ surf shops in Exeter and Exmouth was asked to design a course for the Chiefs to test their ability in an alien environment.
Despite the Chiefs not being swim-fit by nature, Tidball was impressed by their stamina and work rate. Tidball said:
"The Chiefs are used to more intense activity. Over the four hour session, they completed four different exercise blocks. Each activity was designed to stretch them in a different way, including brain over brawn. I was impressed with the inter team bonds and the effort put in by injured players, who still wanted to partake. Some players even showed surf promise."
Mark Twiggs, the head fitness and conditioning coach said:
"It was great to sit back and watch the team cope with the exercises provided by Exmouth Beach Rescue. The boys got cold as the temperatures dropped and it lashed down, but they kept going, proving themselves again and again."
The squad is divided into training teams and on the day it was the weakest of the four teams that won, and the team that normally comes out on top was last.
On a cold, wet “summer’s day” that has become typical this year, the Chiefs were deliberately left unprotected from the water and the elements. The lack of protection was designed to acclimatise the squad for winter playing conditions. “You can't leave the pitch just because it starts to rain or hail", said Twiggs.
Tidball commented. "I was really pleased to see all the smiles, on what wasn't the most pleasant of days. The Chiefs were very polite and showed our young lifeguards just how professional athletes are great ambassadors as well."
Exmouth Beach Rescue is affiliated to Surf Life Saving GB, a charity of more than 5,000 volunteer beach lifeguards that aims to make the country’s beaches safer places.
Exmouth Beach Rescue held the event with the Chiefs to raise their profile and to make the public aware of how their specialist saltwater skills are used to raise funding and awareness for the expansion project. The club are requesting planning permission to expand their facility to increase the work they are doing. This year Exmouth Beach Rescue members are lifeguarding the Olympics, World and London triathlon series, as well as their regular patrolling of Exmouth Beach to ensure locals and holidaymakers are safer by the sea.