Griffith hosts intense training week for Oceania athletes

Athletes from eight Pacific Commonwealth nations and territories fine-tuned their preparations and goals ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus.

A combination of able-bodied and para-athletes made up the 35-strong group from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Niue.

They were accompanied by eleven of their coaches as they reaped the benefits of Griffith’s top class sports facilities and research expertise as part of the GAPS (Gather Adjust Prepare Sustain) Program.

Former Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games swimmer and assistant coach at Griffith University pool, Chris Wright, mentored eight swimmers at the new $16 million Gold Coast Aquatic Centre at Griffith University, while sprint and long distance athletes took to the nearby track. Shot-putters, javelin throwers and a triple jumper were also be in action.

“The individual athletes had the opportunity for self-improvement under the guidance of some leading researchers in disciplines like exercise science, sport technology, nutrition and sport psychology,” Griffith Sports College Director, Duncan Free OAM, said.

“It was a great chance for them to assess where they are at in terms of their physiological and psychological preparations as the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games loom ever closer.

“They had the use of world-class facilities and expert knowledge that’s not readily available when they are at home.”

Associate Professor Clare Minahan, Dr Chris Irwin and Dr Sean Horan, all from Griffith’s School of Allied Health Services, linked up with Professor David Neumann from the School of Applied Psychology in sharing their expertise with the athletes.

The GAPS program is funded by the Commonwealth Games Federation, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, and City of Gold Coast.