From Pre-lash to Pre-Season

ALEX ALJOE assesses the Garnier tans and Leavers 11′ hoodies that are the calling cards for Durham pre season.

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One minute; sun, sea and sand. Next minute; sweat, stiffness and the only sand to be found is clinging stubbornly to the knees, courtesy of the Madien Castle astro pitch. Preseason training makes the end of summer 2011 but also the start of an exciting new season for all the Team Durham Athletes. Will the hockey team scale similar heights? Is Twickenham due another visit?

“DIG DEEP!” Cam the fitness coach screams to the numerous teams who are up training at Maiden Castle before the new term begins. And no, he is not talking about their pockets for the next round of shots in Jimmys. This is back to reality and a shock to the system for most. Some are prepared, some not so much. Cramming two terms of work into overnight revision may be plausible but turning two months of excess into two weeks of intensive exercise is nigh on impossible. Point proven by the number of athletes who called it a day, after a day.

Due to an extensive recruitment drive, teams are looking stronger than ever this year. The team to look out for is Women's Lacrosse, which boasts 11 under-19 England World Cup Squad players and 5 Postgrads from across the pond.

Freshers were easily distinguished by their nervous disposition and modest attire (LEAVERS 11’ hoodies omnipresent). On the other side of the scale, certain second and third year gym junkies, encouraged by the unseasonal warm weather, deemed it acceptable to run around the track topless. Sorry, but is this the University Fashion Show or a preseason fitness session? Nevertheless, girls walking past were clearly impressed as they strutted by in their short shorts, sporting their summer (or Garnier) tans. Fashion show scouts take note, Maiden Castle is the new cat-walk.

The recovery process after a long day of preseason training is crucial and requires three key locations; Tesco’s, where athletes use trolleys as zimmer frames in a desperate attempt to refuel their bodies with super noodles and other ‘nutritious’ foods. The spa at the Radisson, that’s right, their Jacuzzi isn’t just for OAPs. Final stop being Lloyds/Studio, as the England Rugby team will tell you stiff drinks (and throwing midgets) ease stiff limbs.