Sunday, 14 October 2018

Fay Hart, more than a winner

Apart from an amazing sports woman, Fay Hart, key member of YMCA East Surrey Boccia Club player, is an inspiration, although she feels  "that’s quite a strong phrase to use". Recently, she won the Reigate and Banstead Disabled Sport Award, sponsored by Simply Sports, and in this interview she tells us his experience and his next challenge: the Boccia England Surrey Scorpions Academy.

- How did you feel after knowing that you are going to receive the Reigate and Banstead Sports Awards?

I had no idea at all actually. I was totally unaware until arriving at the awards and reading my name in the programme. Once I realised, I was really touched and couldn’t quite believe it.

- How did your friends, family, team members receive the new? 

I’ve had such a positive response from everyone. Especially from my team and coaches, that means so much. My mum and Dad came with me on the night of the awards, along with Emma from the YMCA it was so nice to celebrate with them.
The next day when I went to use the gym at YMCA, quite a few staff were keen to congratulate me. 

Fay Hart after receiving the Reigate Sport Award.

- Why do you think you have been selected for this award?

That’s a tough question. I think it’s because Boccia is my passion and I have a determined approach towards it. After having health problems earlier in the year, I had to take a break from Boccia. I was keen to come back from that and develop further, which hasn’t been easy. You certainly have to have a level of drive about you to be able to do that. It’s important to mention I’ve also had much invaluable support along with my determination, which is a great combination.

- How important is the sport in your life?

It is very important and has become somewhat of a lifestyle aside from the activity itself. I find the whole process of Boccia: playing, training, setting and achieving goals and exercising to get stronger a form of release from life’s other stresses. 

- Do you feel as an inspiration for others?

I feel that’s quite a strong phrase to use. I’m just keen to develop and further my skills and if someone takes something from how I do that, then that’s good.

- Tell us about your experience in the YMCA Boccia Club?

When I came to the YMCA Boccia club, everyone was so welcoming, I was quite tentative and wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to throw the ball. I had played some years before when I was younger and my muscles were less affected by my condition. To my surprise, I was able to throw the ball. I couldn’t throw it consistently though, but everyone really encouraged me and that really did help me to improve. This, along with hard work, not only meant I became able to throw the ball properly, but it also gave me the skillset I needed to succeed to the point I have and to continue doing so. Without  the YMCA Boccia Club, the things I have  experienced so far would not have been possible and for that, I am very grateful.

Fay Hart along Adrian Pointer (Simply Sports).

- Which are new challenges (training, competitions...)?

With regard to challenges, I now have a place at the Boccia England Surrey Scorpions Academy, where I am lucky enough to play and train alongside some of the England players. That’s a massive challenge in itself, because I look up to them and would like to be playing for England myself in the future. Competition wise, I’m entering the Heathcoat Cup in early 2019. Last year I qualified with a gold medal in my category, but wasn’t well enough to attend the finals. This time around, I hope to qualify again and get another chance to go to the finals, because succeeding there could potentially open doors to new opportunities for me.

- Why would you recommend to practise sport? 

I would say that sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have the chance to try a sport and enjoy it, then it is worth pursuing.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Your running club for training for the Intersport Run Reigate

Cat and Sarah from Team Mama are the energetic spirit of the Run Reigate Run Club, free training sessions held every Tuesday at Priory Park to prepare people for the Intersport UK Run Reigate Half Marathon, 10k or 5k the next 16th of September. Both coaches lead the sessions along with The Fitness Zone and tell us in this interview their amazing experience with this new running community is being born in Reigate.

- What was the goal to start the Run Reigate Run Club?

Initially the goal was to give people a structured programme to build up their fitness and running technique to achieve a 5k distance. However, this programme has also benefited the 10k and 1/2 marathon runners in improving their running speeds, balance, coordination and strength.

- How is being the experience?

It has been a fantastic experience. The Run Reigate Running Club has been so well received - we have had amazing numbers, and brilliant feedback. It has also been great exposure for our business TeamMama (a leading advanced post-natal fitness provider helping mums to recover their strength and fitness safely in a fun, friendly environment).

The first training of the Run Reigate Run Club.

- How has been the feedback from the community?

We have had really positive feedback from all our runners. The difficulty we had was pitching the session to both novices as well as seasoned runners. The feedback has been that everyone has felt challenged and pushed.

- Did you expect this success?

Yes! Run Reigate is a really enthusiastic team with great social media exposure. They also have huge sponsors who are also actively involved - so we managed to spread the work quickly about our fantastic running club. The Reigate running community are really supportive of both Run Reigate race and also the Run Reigate Running Club.

- What is the running profile you need to join the club?

You just need to enjoy running and meeting people. We are able to adapt the exercises to meet various needs so we welcome all abilities, speeds and ages.

- How are the sessions?

The session are developed on a tried and tested coaching formula. Each week the session focus on the 'all important' running drills, building strength, balance and coordination. We then include a variety of interval, tempo and exercises - varying each week. We then finish with a timed 1k-1.5k run which gives everyone a brilliant benchmark to assess their progress. The sessions are designed and adapted for both novices as well as experienced runners. Everyone can come.

The running sessions are free are held every Tuesday at Priory Park.

- How do you motivate people to run? 

As coaches we try to bring enthusiasm, knowledge, fun and experience to each session. This has helped build a great atmosphere and has made it so popular. Each individual is running for their own personal goal: charity, health, personal best, or just for fun. A combination of all these things is what motivates our runners.

- What do you need if you want to take part in a session?

It is simple - you need a bottle of water, trainers and a smile.

- What tips do you give people training for a race like Run Reigate?

Find your goal...what is going to keep you running and training? Stay focused and don't loose heart. Join a club with like minded runners, and find a friend, who runs at your pace, to run with each week. Most importantly....ENJOY IT! Run Reigate is a fun, friendly and active community that is great to be part of. Whether you are signed up for the 5k, 10k or 1/2 marathon you will become hooked.

Run Reigate Run Club training sessions are held every Tuesday (until 4th of September) at 7:30 - 8:30pm in Reigate Priory Park -in front of the school-. The free sessions are created to prepare for the Intersport Run Reigate Half Marathon, 10k and 5k race. 

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Simply Sports in the heart of ON Running

In 2010, during a ISPO, the largest trade fair for sports business, we first met a guys from a Swiss start-up company called On Running in the “Brand New” hall. They were trying to be known in a very busy market like running trainers. It was a hard mission, however their product were fresh, original, fashion, and especially light. Besides, they have a great advantage: they love those shoes that they have created.  

A short time later, they were introducing the trainers in our shops with their concept Run on Clouds. That was different, not only for the quality, but their philosophy. In other words, Simply Sports & CHS and ON had a special connection from the very first time. In fact, now they are one of our top brand partners. 

Last week, we had the privilege to be invited the launch of the latest trainers designed by On, the Cloudace, and it was the perfect opportunity to discover the On Running world in their own home for two days.

One of the ON founders, Caspar Copetti, during the ON headquarter tour.

Drew, Alan and Kelly from Simply Sports and CHS were very lucky to be flown out to Zürich, along with a selection of other UK ON stockists for the Cloudace event/Oniversity. Here their adventure.

"We started off after arrival and check in at Zürich with lunch outside the ON HQ. Freshly made Italian Pizza! This was a really nice opportunity to mix with the other Oniversity guests and ON staff.

This was followed by an greeting from the UK ON team and a Brand presentation/HQ tour from one of the founders Caspar Copetti.

ON presented all of us with our own personal ON goodie bags, along with a demo pair of Cloudace to be able to test over the two day Oniversity.

We also had a presentation for the New Cloudace from their R&D team. Which was very informative and really helped to understand all the technology behind the new shoe.

Picture of the presentation for the new Cloudace.

We then took part in the Zürich Zoo Run, which was a charity event in the evening, which also included dinner which was great fun! It was also a great first opportunity to test out the new Cloud Ace!

On the second day of the Oniversity we started with a 6.15am Run through the centre of Zürich, another opportunity to really put the Cloudace though its paces. This was finished with a quick refreshing swim in the river Limmat!

Ready for the Zürich Zoo Running.

We then returned to ON HQ for more product and ON brand training for the morning, before being taken out for lunch.

The rest of the the afternoon was free time to explore Zürich before flying home. We took the opportunity to visit the ON zone in the Jelmoli Department Store. 

The Zürich Oniversity was a fantastic and unique experience. Myself and the rest of the team had great fun on the trip!"

Drew, manager at Reigate store. 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

A great Running Gait Analysis makes a difference

Google defines the Running Gait analysis as "a method for identifying biomechanical abnormalities in the gait cycle - in other words it's a way of assessing the way in which you walk and run". At Simply Sports is more than a method, it is the opportunity to know the real runner and probably is the most rewarded Running Customer Service for us because in a natural conversation we can advise you the best way to enjoy running and less likely to have an injury and even we can improve your technique with our tips.

Why a running gait test? Because it is the best form to know your foot strike on the floor and determine what type of shoes you should use.

Normally, the trainers are divided in three categories -although we should not forget that each runner has a unique running gait-:

- Neutral: For runners with a more stable and straighter heel to toe foot strike. These shoes will offer a balanced level of support and cushioning for the whole of the foot.

- Over pronation / Stability: For runners with an less stable foot strike, rolling from the outside edge of the heel inwards through to the ball of the foot. These shoes incorporate a stability structure along the middle of the arch to help control this movement.

- Supination (or underpronation): For runners with the insufficient inward roll of the foot after landing. They do not need to use any support. Neutral is the best option for them.

The Brooks Running Gait Analysis area in Reigate store.

We know that sometimes could be a bit confused the (apparently) simple thing of buying a pair of shoes for running. No worries about words like heel drop, levels of cushioning, support, rebound... because after a running gait analysis your questions will be solved. This is the reason you should invest only 10-15 minutes (we are specialist in analysis during lunch times ;]) of your time, with as much additional time as required to fit and try the various shoe options, in an assessment to run with the proper trainers for you.

Simply Sports (Reigate) and CHS (Tonbridge Wells) have recently installed a gait analysis machine called Currex Monolith that delivers a unique and individualized shoe fitting process. A modern pressure mapping system (more than 4000 sensors) reads foot behaviour 100 times per second then automatically classifies the foot into a support category whilst measuring length and width to ensure the perfect fit. After the test, the global database and our specialist staff could recommend you different shoes from our stock according to your profile.

Currex Monolith is not the standard gait analysis where you run on a treadmill and someone reviews a slow motion video, in fact you don't even need to run, you just walk across a pressure plate a couple of times and the results are tailored to your needs.

The Currex Monolith at CHS.
"Ok, I am interested. What do I need to do?"

- There is no booking required, but any advance notice of an assessment requirement is always appreciated.

- If you have a current pair of shoes that you use, please bring these along. It can often be helpful to see how well a previous shoe has worked for you.

- If you happen to have a preferred style of running sock, it's good to have these with you to assist with the fitting process.  

- Our stores also have a treadmill and customers are welcome to use this to get a better idea of how the shoes feel to run in.  

- We do stock a broad range of shoe options from Brooks, On, Saucony, New Balance, Asics, Adidas and Nike. There are also half sizes available to ensure we can get the best fit possible.

- The gait analysis service does have a fee of £20, but this is then deducted off the price of a shoe when a pair is purchased.

- We can send copy of your results via email.

Enjoy running with the guarantee of doing it with the best shoes for you. (Remember that a gait analysis is a part of your running. Other factor like training, nutrition, hydration influence in your performance).

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Seven reasons to love running

Simply Sports will be celebrating the next 6th of June the Global Running Day, a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. The idea is have fun, be active and inspire others. Remember that you can inspire running 20 marathons in a row or simply a half mile.

Following the idea of this special Running Day, we have been wondering and looking for reasons why a sport like running, being the world’s oldest sport, is becoming the most popular way to exercise and here are our answers:

1 Free and you can do it anywhere: According to NHS, running burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise and regular running can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.

2 Easy to do: It is simple, cheap and fast. You do not need special equipment, environment or more people. Simply comfortable sports clothing, a good pair of shoes (we could advise you at Reigate, Oxted, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Weels stores), a supportive sports bra for women and, of course, your willpower and staying motivated.

Image taken from Brooks.

3 In figures: More than two million of people  in the UK run at least once a week and an estimated 10m in the US. Here is other datum to understand this phenomenon: more than 1,6 million of runners have completed a ParkRun in UK. 

4 Running as recreation: Nowadays one in ten persons run. Running is the sixth most popular form of recreation in Europe – after walking, swimming, biking, alpine skiing and mountaineering.

5. Sociable and solitary: Running can be the most sociable of sports (running clubs, races...) or if you prefer the most solitary (training and competing alone, run against yourself).

6. Discover the world running: Races and training are a great opportunity to enjoy your town and your county without limits and discovering new areas. It is the perfect excuse to visit another countries making friends as well.

7. Run to calm the mind: Runners focus on breathing, as does meditationpractice of focusing attention in order to clear the mind and reduce anxiety. “It’s a myth that meditation happens only when you light candles or incense and sit cross-legged,” says Chandresh Bhardwaj, founder of the Break The Norms meditation program Instead, he explains, “When you are deeply involved in any activity, you become meditative”. In conclusion, running is an excellent way to develop a meditation and mindfulness practice.

It would be fantastic, if you comment us your reasons to love running. We promise you we add your ideas this post. Thank you! 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The spirit of Jenny Denton in the 30th Hogsmill 5

Next Sunday will be a special day for Epsom Allsorts Ladies Running Club. The club will celebrate the 30 anniversary of the Hogsmill 5, a friendly running race over 5 miles through the Hogsmill local nature reserve. But, if we want to be able to understand this popular event, sponsored by Simply Sports, firstly is necessary to know the figure of Jenny Denton. The club discovers us in this post her influence and her incredible story:

Jenny Denton started the Epsom Allsorts in April 1987. She had moved to Surrey from Nottinghamshire where she had been running regularly for several years and finding it difficult to motivate herself to run on her own she decided to set up a local running group for women.

Start of an Hogsmill 5.

Jenny advertised a meeting in Bourne Hall for women who might be interested in running and in attending regular training sessions. The fliers and posters encouraged women of ‘all ages, shapes, sizes and absolute beginners’ to attend the meeting. The aim was to train women to enable them to enter the Nike Women's Own 10k Run in Hyde Park in the autumn.  

43 women turned up at the first meeting. Five months later they hired a double decker bus and a single decker bus for the runners and their supporters for the trip to Hyde Park. The local Mayor and Mayoress joined the runners in their Rolls-Royce to offer their support and join the picnic in the park after the race. Of the 1305 competitors running that day 59 were Allsorts. They raised over £2300 for local charities. 

The emphasis was always on mutual support and not individual competition. In the training sessions, the faster runners were encouraged to regularly loop around to the back of the field to motivate the slower runners.

Ladies warming up before the race.

The women continued to run together and compete in other races and in 1988 the club organised its own anniversary race. All the runners, organisers and marshals were women. Since then the Epsom Allsorts anniversary race has been organised each year and has seen its members compete in races up to marathon distance including Paris, Bruges, New York and many at London each year.

In 1988 the club held its first anniversary race to commemorate the formation of the Epsom Allsorts Ladies Running Club the year before. Two distances were on offer 5k and 10k. Jo Burford and a band of helpers organised the race for many years. A number of locations were used during these years including: Epsom Baths (before it was the Rainbow Centre), Glyn School, Longmead School.

In later years the race became the Hogsmill 5, a five mile race that continues today and the venue became the Harrier Centre – which was just a cinder track when the club was first formed.

Simply Sports is proud of supporting the race Hogsmill 5 with special prizes:

- 🏆 1st Prize winner will receive free gait analysis and a pair of running shoes of her choice! Plus two pairs of Hilly socks.
- The 2nd placed runner will receive a free gait analysis, a £50 gift voucher and 2 pairs of Hilly socks.
- The 3rd placed lady will also receive free gait analysis, a £25 gift voucher and 2 pairs of Hilly socks.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Dave Roper: "I thought that running as Spiderman was tough, but he has nothing on a Stormtrooper"

The 23rd of April of 2017 Jez Allinson claimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest person to run a marathon dressed as a Star Wars character (4.59.12). That happened at the London Marathon 2017. A year after (less a week), Dave Roper from Reigate completed the Brighton Marathon dressed as a Stormtrooper (#StormtrooperDave) and beat the record by six minutes. Beyond the times, the most important thing he raised over £4,000 for the local charity Autism All Stars
A week later of the race, he tells us his experience which define it as "the hardest thing I have ever done (physically)".


"The crowds were superb from start to finish and I high-fived as many people as I could throughout the course. There were a few times were I thought I was going to pull out, but the crowds really kept me going".


"I purposely took of faster than planned as I wanted to get the half way mark as early as possible. I did the first 10k in 55:55 and the first half in 2:06:14 with an overall finishing time of 4:53:14".

Dave Roper after finishing the Brighton Marathon.

Spiderman vs Stormtrooper

"I thought that running as Spiderman (he ran the Brighton Marathon as this character in 2016) was tough, but he has nothing on a Stormtrooper. In training I thought I had got rid of any problem areas with rubbing/digging in to me......but after running for nearly 5 hours I now know otherwise".

Hot temperature 

"Running in the Armour is so tough as you can't really feel any breeze, and its very hot under that helmet. The restriction of movement in my legs made the second half tough. I also had my left trainer on a little too tight causing my foot to go numb. It is still numb now 3 days later". 


"Having my family and friends around the course great. I knew roughly where I was going to see them and it was amazing every time I saw them". 
Dave drinking water during the race.

A straw for the future

With the full costume on I cannot take of my own helmet as the hands will not fit inside the gap to unclip the chinstrap. This meant that I was only able to have a drink when I saw my wife, Kirsten. I stopped twice for a few minutes at mile 14 and 18 and toweled myself off and enjoyed fluids. For future runs I am going to fix a straw inside the helmet".

Crossing the finish line

"The final 100m finish will be a moment that I will never forget. Firstly the crowds were all roaring at all of the finishers and then over the Tannoys the Imperial March music blasted loudly. This picked me right up and I waved to the crowds. Just before the finish line the Star Wars theme tune blared. I literally had goosebumps. It was a superb way to finish an exhausting race".

Post race

"After picking up my medal I made my way to the beer tent (a fantastic addition) and met back up with my family. We walked up to the train station (minus the helmet) and sitting on that train was the best feeling EVER! I wore the suit from 8:45am - 5:15pm. It was a long day. Taking it off was amazing. Now I cant wait to get it on again and do the next run".

Looking for the Guinness World Record

"I am currently trying to get as many photographs/videos and witness statements to send to Guinness World Records. To top it off, we have raised over £4000 for Autism All Stars which makes every painful step/every cut and bruise worth it". 

More pictures of the #StormtrooperDave here:  

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Run a marathon in the armour of a stormtrooper

Dave Roper (35 years) is an ex soldier from Reigate, a Star Wars super fan and a fitness instructor who loves the sports challenges. With this information, it is easier to understand his new goal: run the Brighton Marathon dressed as a stormtrooper to raise money for the charity Autism All Stars. His two children are diagnosed with autism. In this interview, he tells us the meaning of #stormtrooperdave.

- How did the idea of running the Brighton Marathon dressed as a stormtrooper arise?

I have run the Brighton Marathon as Spiderman in 2016 and achieved my PBs in 3.44.46. I ran a half marathon in 1.29.17 (The Intersport Run Reigate) and a 10k in 39.17. People always like to see a challenge when it comes to sponsoring people. I knew that after Spidey I would have to really up my game.

- Why did you choose this Star Wars character?

I'm a massive Star Wars fan, and everybody knows the character. Whether you enjoy the films or not, if you see a Storm Trooper you know it's a Storm Trooper. I'm also an ex soldier so it's nice to be back in uniform again (haha).

TKUK has provided his armour free of charge.

- Why for Autism all Stars? 

My 2 children, Liam and Lucy are diagnosed with Autism. Autism all stars are a local charity who help and support families living with Autism. They have ĺots of advice and help online and put on autism friendly cinema clubs and various events in and around the area. I love that I can support them in what they do. Being a smaller charity you really know that every donation is making a difference.

- How was the process to create this uniform for running a race?

I actually really under estimated how much work was needed to get this Armour race ready. David Ashcroft at TKUK  provided me the armour free of charge to help me support my cause. Fully assembled these sell for £800 up so you can imagine how much it meant to me getting given one. I've had to make a lot of adjustments and then test run and then adjust the adjustments again. We are almost there.

- Is it the first time you try a similar challenge?

I have run as Spiderman previously, which at the time I thought was super tough....This is another level. I know the crowds are going to love it, which is what it's all about.

Photo of a Dave's training in a park.

- How is being the training in the stormtrooper skin?

I've absolutely loved the training runs. So many people taking photographs and tooting from cars. It's made it so much fun. I've suffered some cuts and bruises along the way but will all be fixed by the main event.

- What is your fears about the costume: the hot inside, the stiffness, the breathability...?

I knew it was going to be hot inside the armour. It's solid plastic so isn't very forgiving when it comes to movement or allowing air in. The good thing is that I'm not running to get my best time so I can enjoy the event and the crowds.

- What is the people reaction when they spot a stormtrooper training like a normal runner?

Some literally freeze and just go woah as you run past whilst others want photographs and high fives. I love the reactions of motorists. Big grins and lots of beeping the horn. Several people have pulled over to get pictures and one person actually put £20 in my hand whilst I was running.

- Have you considered in beating the Guinness World Record for the fastest person to run a marathon dressed as a Star Wars character? (The record time is 4.59.12 and was reached by Jez Allinson at London Marathon 2017).

Yes, I actually went to apply but there is a lot to do when it comes to proving the attempt. You either need to film the entire event showing the costume or have two witnesses to prove that you didn't cheat etc. I'll see how it goes this time and then have a think about it. It would be amazing to be a World Record Holder. I've actually chatted with Jez. He's a lovely guy and is doing some fantastic work for Charity.

Dave finishing the Brighton Marathon in 2016.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Reigate will burn 70,000 calories for Sport Relief

The average says that an active women between the ages of 31 to 50 burns 2,200 calories per day. The next Friday Reigate will have burned more than 70,000 calories at the end of the day. This is the goal of the Speedflexathon, organised by On Premium Fitness gym to raise money for Sport Relief. The challenge will start at 9:00 am and every hour will have a class until the last session at 6:00 pm. The Speedflexathon has generated great interest in the community and the great thing is that everyone can take part in the activity booking a place or simply donating. Lauren Hills, one of the One Premium staff that is organising the event, tell us the story behind this activity. 

- How did the idea of a Speedflexathon arise?

The idea initially came from our West Byfleet Speedflex Studio, a few month ago they completed a 100,000 calories challenge in one day for children in need, which was a huge hit and raised a lot of money. We decided this was a great idea and we’d like to get involved with fundraising! We looked into charities and Sport Relief stood out to us. We want to encourage people to get involved with fitness, as a team agreed this would be a great charity to support, because most of the fundraising Sport Relief do is based around exercising, and that is what we do best!

- Why did you choose Speedflex?

Now that answer is easy, we chose Speedflex because all ages and levels of fitness can participate! Our Speedflex sessions are high intensity, low impact and personal trainer led. You can expect to burn hundreds of calories in just one, 45 minutes Speedflex session.

- What is your goal?

Our goal is to support and raise money for Sport Relief, by using our expert trainers at One Premium Fitness to run a fun filled day, full of Speedflex sessions, a DJ and fancy dress, encouraging more people to get moving!

Image of ON Premium Fitness staff that will participate at the Speedflexathon.

- How many calories do you plan to burn on the day?

We have the potential to burn over 72,000 calories between all of our participants on the day!

- Who can participate in the event?

Everyone can participate in our Speedflexathon, above the age of 16. Speedflex has been designed for any age or fitness level, Speedflex enables everyone to exercise at high intensities, but at levels set by each individual.

- What is being the feedback from the community?

As soon as everyone heard about our event, it has had a spike of interest, we have a lot of members who are interested and constantly asking questions about participating and contributing towards Sport Relief. In fact, one of our Speedflex members has taken the day off of work to participate in all 10 sessions! That is whooping 450 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training... in one day!
We are also holding a raffle, all of the prizes have been donated by local businesses in Reigate; we have received some amazing prizes, from the likes of: Benefit, COOK, DASH barbers, Clove, The Art of Living, Mishikos and Reigate Beauty Room.. We are extremely grateful for their participation in our event, and hope that with their kindness we can raise lots of money for Sport Relief!

- How to join the event?

Find our event on facebook ‘Speedflexathon Reigate – Sports Relief’
To book a space onto a session, please email, call or message us via social medias.
Phone: 0844 543 3636
Instagram: @opf_reigate
Twitter: @opf_reigate
Facebook: One Premium Fitness, Reigate.

The classes are due to be very busy on the day! So please book on to avoid disappointment!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

"We want to change people’s attitude to make exercise like a part of their routine"

"Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE", "Never doubt, only believe"... are some of the inspirational quotes posted on the All Girls Can Instagram and they are perfect to define the spirit of this wonderful initiative, whose objective is "share our passion for getting active and encouraging and empowering others to do the same". Philippa Curphey and Eleanor Lestrange are the creators of this activity based in Surrey. They encourage and help people to run, cycling, walking... using the positive experience of group exercise. They tell us her lovely story in this interview. 

- How did the idea of All Girls Can arise? 

We are mum buddies and great friends who met 4 years ago at their kids nursery gates. Like many women our focus over the last few years had been family and work and as a result not doing any exercise at all. However a couple of years ago over a glass of wine we decided we had to adjust our priorities and make time for own health and fitness. 
After a slow start, our confidence grew and in 2016 decided to take on huge personal challenges. In April Philippa ran the London Marathon and in August Eleanor completed the 100-mile cycling challenge, The Prudential Ride London
Having experienced first hand the positive impact that exercise has on both mental and physical well-being, we now feel compelled to  share what we have learned and so we have put our enthusiasm and passion for sports to good use to create a new initiative ‘All Girls Can’.

'All Girls Can' celebrating the 'International Volunteer Day'.

What are the benefits of doing exercise in group?

We have seen first hand the improvements that group exercise has had on one’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. There are so many benefits to exercising within a group, particularly if you are new to fitness. Our groups are so motivating and the ladies that participate in our sessions work as part of a team to reach their fitness goals always encouraging each other along the way. It is also a fun and very sociable way to meet like-minded people whilst getting fit - we have become a lifeline to many women.

- Is it true that you are happier when you practice a sport?

Yes there is no doubt - 100 percent! Fitness has made us happier, healthier, less stressed and way more energized. Our confidence has grown and those endorphins make us feel like anything is possible which not only has a positive effect on our lives but on our family’s lives too. 

- Do you think all girls (and people) can?

Yes! we want to emphasise that we are a totally inclusive club. Regardless of age, ability or gender we believe that everyone CAN! We actually encourage family participation in one of our running groups - we want mums, dads, kids and  grandparents to get involved- it’s a great way of bringing families and communities together. 
We have focused our initiative mainly on women however, as we have seen first-hand that sports participation rates among women and girls are much lower than men and evidence has shown that  women are significantly underrepresented in sports for reasons that we can help change. 

Eleanor and Philippa, creators of this sports initiative in Surrey.

What is the feedback you are receiving from the community?

We have had such a positive response from our community and we have been overwhelmed by the number of people who are coming forward to volunteer with our 'All Girls Can' groups which means that going forward we can reach out to other communities in the area. 

- What is the most difficult thing/fear/barrier to encourage women to start exercising?

The barriers can vary from financial issues, lack of confidence, the feeling of being judged to injury concerns - many women complain about how lack of time prevents them for exercising  due to prioritising family and work over their own well-being.
Our aim is to break down these barriers by creating free activity groups that are encouraging, inclusive and welcoming where women feel supported and comfortable enough to take their first steps in to exercise without fear of judgement or competition. 

- How can you motivate people who have a normal busy life (family, children, job, shopping...) to start doing sports?

We want to change people’s attitude towards fitness by encouraging women to make  exercise a part of their daily routine and making women realise that at times it is ok to prioritise yourself over family, work and other pressures that may otherwise hold them back from getting active.

Drew (Simply Sports) helping Eleanor choose a running trainers in Reigate.

- After you have started, how can you add the sport in your daily life to avoid quit it in a couple of  weeks? 

By  giving yourself a personal challenge or a sporting goal to aim for, this can really motivate an individual to keep returning in order train and improve performance. Some of our running ladies have already completed 5km runs and are now signing up for 10 mile races. 
By starting off your fitness regime gradually and taking small steps, you’ll find that it won’t impact on your daily life too much.  Even it is something small like taking one less car journey and walking instead - anything is better than nothing and you will reap the benefits very quickly.

- All Girls Can is focused now on running (All Girls Run) and cycling (All Girls Ride). Are you thinking in offering more sports?

Yes, we are launching our first walking group this month and we hope to get more ladies in to a swimming pool too!

(Pictures taken from All Girls Can UK)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

ISPO 2018: Reasons to love sport

ISPO is like a great window where you can look through it and see what can happen in the future of the sporting industry. Sometimes, it is futurist, incredible or fantastic, but always ISPO surprises you. It is the reason why Simply Sports loves this international event and each year we travel to Munich to visit the capital of the sport for a few days. The insights reflect that anyone who has ever been to ISPO Munich will come back again.

Principal entrance to ISPO in Munich.

We look for inspirational ideas and see the latest of the sporting industry, trends, new products, discover brands, share experiences, make contacts and meet old friends... and almost always we come back fascinated with something and with new ideas for our customers.

We have been attending for so many years and are still always inspired by the enthusiasm, passion and newness of the show. Every now and then you come across brands that just shout “buy me”.

Such was the case in 2010 when we first met the guys from a Swiss start-up company called On Running in the “Brand New” hall, now they are one of our top brand partners. This year we met a group of ladies who were launching state of the art body protection for ladies playing contact sports, this really is the future and takes protection to another level.

ISPO 2018 registered 84,000 visitors.

The 2801 exhibitors of ISPO Munich 2018 or the world's most important meeting place for the sporting goods industry -held at the end of January- attracted 84,000 visitors from 120 countries. It is easy to get lost by the 16 halls, divided into the eight segments Snowsports, Outdoor, Health & Fitness, Urban, Teamsports, Vision, Trends, Innovation & Industry Services and Manufacturing & Suppliers.

Our first great surprise this year was when we were interacting with a magic mirror. We tested this digital/smart mirror that will recommend complimentary products to what you try on. You can contact the sales staff through touching the mirror which sends a request to the store staff's smart watch. You can also place items in your virtual basket for immediate collection or delivery to your home.

The mirror is connected to sales staff. 

In the Fitness hall UFC, MMA and boxing were well represented. OPRO’s tie up with UFC looked good. They were also launching the latest incarnation of their mouthguard range, now called “Generation 4”.

Fitness equipment is certainly a mature market, technology has improved. Now it looks to be all about the technology and the interactive features. The most stunning range by the WaterRower company was finished in wood and would grace any living room.

Best Mannequins stand.

We were knowing the latest models of Altra Running shoes, which will be available in Simply Sports  this month. The US running brand were busy, they were there last year and we are expecting their shoes in to store this month. They are very niche, but a lovely group of people working behind the brand. Nothing was too much at the show and nothing has been left to chance for our launch at our Reigate store.

Adrian Pointer (Simply Sports) visiting the Altra stand.

It is perhaps a paradox that the brands where the stands were busiest were the stands selling premium and niche products.

So many brands, so many new products and so many people to meet. We work in one of the friendliest trades imaginable, everyone has a love for sport which is why we all work in the industry. How lucky are we that our work is also our hobby. (Adrian Pointer)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Priory Parkrun: 200 runs changing lifes in Reigate

The last New Year's Day the Reigate Priory Parkrun was 200 runs and celebrated it the best way they know: running in the beautiful, scenic and undulating Priory Park course -the 91st most elevated in the ranking of 400 Park Run in  UK-.

Bruce Fordyce, Parkrun South Africa Country Manager, says in the book Park Run: much more than just a run in the park (highly recommended) that Parkrun 'is not a simple 5 kilometre fun run. It is changing  the lives of ten of thousands of people for the better'. In Reigate, the Park Run has changed the live of more than 6,500 runners, who has taken part in this simple and revolutionary concept of run -timed, five kilometre runs, for people of all ages and all abilities, fun, friendly and free- since starting on 22nd of March 2014. The figures of this event are absolutely incredible in around four years: more than 189,000 km of total distance completed or 2 years of time running.    

Image of the beginning of a Park Run in Reigate.

It doesn't matter the weather (sun, rain, snow and mud) or the Park conditions -the course in Reigate is a mixture of gravel path, woodland trail and grass- each Saturday at 9:00am an average of 188,9 runners is waiting with their barcode to run and improve their time. 

But, why the Parkrun is being so successful? Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE, the founder of Parkrun, explains in the book mentioned above his reasons: 'Partly, the obvious it is free. But also lots of other reasons -the socials aspects, the encouraging, welcoming atmosphere for new runners, the simplicity, and because it's fun. More and more, it's because of the relationship with the community'. 

Paul Chandler, who has seen the growth of the Reigate Priory Parkrun as Run Director in these four years and heart of this event, defined the Reigate Priory Parkrun in a interview on our blog as "not a race and there are no winners just a friendly place to run as fast or as slow as you like".

Now, we have tried to compile a few key moments that has marked the history of the Priory Parkrun. (This summary is the result of reading all the post published about the races since March of 2014 from the Reigate Priory Parkrun website. Pictures have been taken from the same page. By the way, it has been a pleasure to experience the history of this great event through these weekly articles).

200th Reigate Priory Parkrun: 179 people complete the course on New Year's Day, which make a total of 6,524 participants and a distance of 188,355 km since first Reigate Priory Parkrun in March of 2014.

200th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

198th Christmas Run: 307 people elves, santas, reindeer, snowmen, a penguin and a surfer complete with surfboard the race at the Christmas Run.

198th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

192nd Reigate Priory Parkrun: Each Saturday, parkrunners celebrate their records of runs: 50, 100, 200... Last November, Catriona Sanderson and Mary Northway join the 50 club.  

192nd Reigate Priory Parkrun.

190th Reigate Priory Parkrun: 4 bats, 2 werewolves, 2 ghosts and a pumpkin complete the race to celebrate the Halloween Parkrun.

190th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

165th Reigate Priory Parkrun: 377 runners gather at the start line for the largest parkrun at the Priory ever.

165th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

131st Reigate Priory Parkrun: Two years ago Reigate becomes in a running capital during a weekend. The Reigate Priory Parkrun on Saturday and the Run Reigate on Sunday, both sponsored by Intersport UK.

129th Reigate Priory Parkrun: 318 runners finish this race, making a total of more than 100,000 kilometres. The person who completed this milestone was Alicia Saunders.

129th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

128th Reigate Priory Parkrun: Laura Gent sets the current female course record beating her own previous mark by 7 seconds to set the new time at 18.19. (Kevin Quinn holds the male record achieved in the event 134 when he ran the 5k in 15:37).

128th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

76th Reigate Priory Parkrun: The event sees the 10,000th finisher since the beginning in 2014. 

76th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

59th Reigate Priory Parkrun: More than 400 clubs registered in four years. In this race, Horley Harriers Running Club makes a group appearance.

59th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

52nd Reigate Priory Parkrun: First year of the Priory Park Run in Reigate. A milestone that would not have been possible without the volunteers enthusiasm.

52nd Reigate Priory Parkrun.

46th Reigate Priory Parkrun: The snow cannot stop this 5k in February of 2015. In fact, this day there are some good performances. 

46th Reigate Priory Parkrun.

1st Reigate Priory Parkrun: 325 runners complete the inaugural course, 83 of them run their first parkrun event. Many parkrunners move from around the country to visit the opening run in Reigate. Ryan Harris and Alice Chandler (Reigate Priory AC) are the first winners.

1st Reigate Priory Parkrun.

1st Reigate Priory Junior Park Run: Last November, 46 young runners (4-14 years old) runthe first Priory Junior Parkrun. Six weeks later, the number of kids is 79. 

                                                           1st Reigate Priory Junior Park Run.