Young athletes have an opportunity to join a new training programme at The Athlete Factory in Mount Maunganui tomorrow.

Testing for the new Athlete Factory Academy, to be launched in term 3 for intermediate and college athletes, will be held at 12pm and 3pm at the purpose-built indoor facilities at 124 Aerodrome Rd, opposite the airport.

The Athlete Factory director Mike Rogers said they ran a unique learning progression for young athletes of all abilities.

"We have a programme called Speed School for 5 to 13 year olds with a big focus on basic running mechanics, real simple movements like squatting and lunging within a games-based environment," he said.


"We have 50 to 60 kids already in that programme.

"We then have a little bit of cross over to 11 to 18 year olds with a programme called AF Academy which is sports specific training. They train with us twice a week.

"These are kids who have been identified by their sport or school as having some ability.
This is what we are running in our testing and information day.

"We have gone and created relationships with all the intermediates and most of the high schools.

The next stage was a programme called Foundation Athletes for either high performance or aspiring high performance athletes.

"So as the kids go through it becomes just a bit more individualised, a little bit more specific and the training demands go up depending on their sport," Rogers said.

He said the Athlete Factory offered unique training programmes in the Bay of Plenty that had been positively received by schools.

"Definitely the biggest gap in the market we have identified is this AF Academy age group from 11 to 18 with kids who are really good at their specific sport, but most of them will not be doing anything outside of their sport's specific training.

"We have a coach in Gareth Ashton who's world class in that space of youth development plus the facilities here are without equal in the area.

"We can have 20 athletes training at once, some on the gym floor, some on the turf, and some on the running track which we can do because of the size of our indoor area."

Each athlete had a specific programme moulded to suit their individual needs under the coaching team led by Ashton.

"There will be a sports specific component and a needs based component within that and then whichever of the fundamental movements we are getting them to do they will be able to progression based on where they are at," Rogers said.

"An 11-year-old may not touch a bar or any weights for two years on our programme until we know they can do that safely and functionally, but there may be 15 year olds who can't do that yet so they will be starting at a lower end of the progression."

■Testing sessions tomorrow are free and open to everyone within the 11-18 age groups.
Bookings are essential. Phone 574 2319 or email