Gym Sport – The story so far. (Part 1)

As the years add up I think the opportunity is now to look at the journey into Gym Sport  . So I thought it best to look at some of the high’s and lows of my personal journey in recording the events I have been at. The people I have met and the conclusion of the future of gym sport.

Lets just take a look at Gym Sport in its basic form. By looking at my favourite event of all time The Marlow Gym Challenge (18th July 2010) A Gym sets up a gym challenge for members to take part in in a race format. That’s two members (athletes) racing down a course set up , using the equipment you use daily in an event you could possibly be training all year for.

So as you can see , when implemented into a working gym, there is such a sense of community and success, that the whole day is something of a when’s the next one attitude by members .

I also had a great race on that day taking on Andy Brown in what would be many encounters, which he would constantly beat me. Those events were memorable for all the right reasons having just had a great day, followed by a BBQ and the potential for another one.

Although the day was memorable the sad news was  The Marlow did not continue. It stopped after one event. Gym Sport is  not going to happen unless its part of the DNA of the club. Unless Gym Sport is embraced on a massive collective level by all members and those that take on the level of commitment to train. And the modern day Gym is just not structured to cope with its own sport.

This is the  conclusion that  I have come up and its is hard to take as there is a resounding sense of failure, which was not brought on by lack of hard work. Gym Sport was never meant to be a personal journey, but that is how it has ended up.

Gym Sport

Lets see what happens when it turns into a success story for a single gym, and the event HXT at Hampshire(David Lloyd )is proof that continued events are run well between member and management of a gym.

Liam Florey and AJ Orchard race each other at the Hampshire XT 2017 from sean blyth on Vimeo.

But this is the minority of a sport and is in fact a very successful event of which it cannot be a Sport driven entity.  When you look at the bigger picture, and look at the fitness Industry as a collective, you then have to see who opposes gym sports and the answer is quite surprising.

  • Gym Members
  • Gym Personal Trainers
  • Gyms
  • Event Organisers
  • Industry Officials
  • Industry leaders

Now this may look at who is to blame for the failure of gym sport without taking any of the responsibility for myself and first and foremost that has to be me. Did I take an easy route without looking at the hard graft first ?

So lets look at me then on this journey. 

A sport needs a history of events and its accompanying Data to make it a sport – that is the premiss of World Gym Challenge. capture the data, interview the athletes, create a spark and let momentum carry the sport into the next stages. Thats was what was needed and my website is littered with endless hours of writing reports, completing all the photography , creating and learning video techniques. And travelling to events to record all of this, along with the results that were entered into personal folders for those who took part. I think the hard work part of this story is unequivolically undeniable and again presents a problem .

You see if you are the person adding the hours to the Sport , then you become the target of those who resent the intrusion into their existence , of which none of what I was doing was done before. Events were put on, the athletes took part and everybody was happy – that is also undeniable. It works well either way – So what makes me the one who wants to a see a sport grow?

The answer can be found in the execution of events. Each organiser did an exceptional job. The events were a joy to be at – the athletes, performed to exceptional levels and those that were there saw and witnessed records being broken and the longevity of events was secured as long as there were venues that would support and host them.

For a while this worked, but it was inevitable that more involvement was needed from other sources and this meant a time commitment. It also became apparent that others tried to create their own websites to continue the process of recording the data. First Gary Nicholas from Calso Gym and then Alex Woods both created websites , that were were very basic and did the job off recording results, but they equally demanded huge amount of personal time to maintain and I think neither realised of what was involved, as time moved on, what seemed a passionate attempt to recreate the wheel faded and WGC remained the Live results entity it was designed for. However Event organisers would still not use it, the time for free access had passed , seven years to be precise, and finance was needed to update the website which was lacking in the new technological progress of code and advancement of the mobile world. So as organisers of existing events refused to use WGC , we became isolated in a world where the next best thing will take hold

Inferno Racing 

In November 2017 I was invited by Harry Thomsett to look at Fitness Racing in the 20th Century and what has developed at Bath University. Its very hard not to be impressed …

To be continued …


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