North Cornwall provided the perfect setting for the England rugby team’s secret training camp as they embarked on a day of team bonding exercises and bespoke challenges on the sandy shores of Towan beach, Newquay, on Tuesday 3rd July.
Energised by the Cornish coast, the team underwent a day of intensive ocean and beach-based challenges created by Newquay Activity Centre and the Royal Air Force. Challenges included lifeguarding skills, stand up paddle boarding, sea swimming, rescue board paddling and team work with physical and mental challenges. Before concluding with an adrenaline-fuelled jet boat ride from the team at Odyssey Marine Adventures. This bespoke series of challenges was developed to help the England coaching staff establish the roles of the players for the upcoming World Cup in Japan this autumn.
Briefed and kitted up in wetsuits by the Newquay Activity Centre instructors at Towan beach, and British Champion surfer Luke Dillion, the England rugby team were split in to five teams of six players who battled hard to win each event.
Newquay Activity Centre Director Rob Barber said;
“We were contacted by the RAF and collaborated with them and the England coaching staff in crafting new challenges and tasks for the team. The focus being to put the team under pressure and in completely new environments in the ocean and on the beach”
The England team were watched intently by coach Eddie Jones as they competed in each of the events. Many of the players are still fighting for their place in the team and could be seen giving the activities 110%. Their competitive spirit and sheer determination shone through as they embraced new challenges in pairs, groups of 4 and separate teams of 8. For some of the players who were less comfortable in the water it was an opportunity to display strength of character, for those that were more familiar in the environment, they helped their team mates overcome the challenges that were set by the Newquay Activity Centre instructors.
Rob Barber commented;
“It was brilliant to help the team push their own personal boundaries and adapt to the new environment and challenges. To culminate in an adrenaline-fuelled jet boat, pick up from the guys at Odyssey marine was awesome. It has been an epic day for myself and my team of instructors who lead these athletes through a completely new series of tasks in the sea, on the beach, using rescue boards and paddle boards.”
The dedicated, all-star rugby team boarded the jet boat and were taken from Towan beach to Lusty Glaze beach by Newquay Activity Centre team, where they were dropped off to rest and recuperate in the Cornish sun.
Photo credits: Laurie McCall, Clare James, Go Left Images