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Wigan Warriors put through their paces at UCLan

28 January 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Double champions begin titles defence

Double champions Wigan Warriors are already preparing to defend their titles with help from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The Super League and Tetley's Challenge Cup winners are back in training and have been put through intensive pre-season fitness tests by staff and students from UCLan’s Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Science (CASES).

The CASES team spent the day in the University’s laboratories testing the Warriors players against a range of physiological checks as part of the club’s pre-season training. This includes the gruelling VO2 max assessment which pushes the athlete to exhaustion to test their aerobic endurance.

“The scientific tests UCLan perform allow us to tailor individual training programmes for the players and over the last few years we have set a very high endurance standard.”

It’s the fourth year in a row that the club’s first team players have visited UCLan for fitness testing. It comes on the back of a rigorous pre-season training camp in Florida ahead of the Warriors’ opening Super League game against Huddersfield on 7 February.

Head Coach Shaun Wane was on hand to watch the players’ assessments. He commented: “Wigan have won six trophies in four years following a very thorough pre-season fitness regime. The scientific tests UCLan perform allow us to tailor individual training programmes for the players and over the last few years we have set a very high endurance standard, which can give us an edge going into the new season.

“I am really impressed not only with the University’s top quality facilities, but also with the professionalism and expertise of all UCLan staff and students that Wigan Warriors have worked with today.”

“It provides our students with a fantastic opportunity to work with elite athletes and gain valuable experience that will be an asset when applying for jobs within the industry.”

The test day enabled UCLan’s undergraduate sports science students to gain practitioner experience in working with professional athletes and to gain insight into the practical developments of elite sports players. Several UCLan students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, have also worked with the Super League club alongside their studies.

Dr Steve Atkins, an exercise science expert at UCLan, said: “We are proud of our long-running and mutually beneficial relationship with Wigan Warriors. It provides our students with a fantastic opportunity to work with elite athletes and gain valuable experience that will be an asset when applying for jobs within the industry.”

The fitness tests are part of an on-going sponsorship deal that UCLan has as the ‘official university’ of the Super League club. The Warriors also benefit from video analysis support from UCLan and a number of university degree places for its players and staff.