Training camp at Ballenas
The sun was out and there was a whole lot of puffing going on at the field behind Ballenas Secondary School on Saturday as 39 young athletes aged 11 to 18 including six girls turned out for the first-ever ATP High Performance Training Camp.
“It’s going really good,” Justin Andrushko, 25, a former all-star running back in his playing days with the Whalers and the man behind ATP, said during the lunch break moments before putting the troops through their paces in the afternoon shift.
Designed to benefit young athletes no matter their sport of choice, the camp started with registration where each participant was given a keepsake T-shirt and drawstring backpack. After that they met on the field for the camp warm-up.
“Because this camp was designed to educate the participants on the funamentals of several different components to training, even the warm up was broken down and the value and purpose explained,” Andrushko said after.
The morning session saw the participants — a number of those from Nanaimo — split up into three groups. Fundamentals of resistance training were instructed by Jim Miller and Travis Schug from Jim’s Gym, speed training was instructed by Laurie Ritche “and a superb support staff” that are members of the Oceanside Track and Field club, while a balance and agility station was instructed by fellow former BSS football standouts Brad Burns and Brandon Rockhill.
“I believe the camp was a great success with all the participants leaving with more knowledge than they came in with,” said Andrushko, back home on the Island and attending VIU. As for the future: “I do hope to run another camp. I felt that this being my first camp it had a few hiccups, but I learned from them and I believe things can only get better from here.
The former running back said he is also considering running training sessions regularly throughout the summer, “however there needs to be enough interest for me to consider taking that on full time. “
On that note, anyone interested in participating can e-mail Justin at email@example.com or check out his website at www.atphighperformance.ca
“This is a lot of effort from someone who already has a lot on his plate with school, work, etc., and is a great example of someone giving back to the community. We could use more of this in Parksville,” local football/sports booster and varsity Whalers’ assistant coach Jeff Childs said prior to the camp.
“It’s pretty awesome,” 13-year-old Brayden Hemsworth from Parksville said with a shrug and big smile on Saturday after a personal best jump of 198 inches in the standing jump drill. “It’s tiring, but it’s a good workout.”