Athlete development and performance training birmingham

2018 has been another successful year for our ever-growing Athlete Development Programme. As the year draws to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to share some of the highlights of the year with you.

The year got off to a great start with the addition of Sean McDermotts Gaelic Football Club to our Team Athlete Development Programme. The team had a successful season winning the Warwickshire County Championship and falling just short in the All Britain series, losing in the semi-finals to the eventual winners.

Sean McDermotts GFC at Rigs Fitness


A special mention must go to one of our youth athletes, Bailey Saunders. Bailey joined the ADP in January 2017 as a 13 year old lad looking to take his rugby to the next level. Fast forward 18 months, Bailey has ticked off all of these goals:

  • Greater Birmingham (represented 2017/18 season)
  • North Midlands (representing 2018/19 season)
  • Hartpury College (place offered to start September 2019)
  • Worcester Warriors Academy (representing 2018/19 season)

Bailey’s success story shows how formal strength and conditioning from a young age can accelerate development and help young athletes to realise their athletic potential. But, of course, this would not have been the case had Bailey’s commitment and attitude to training not been second to none.

Youth athlete development
Head of Performance, Josh Bridgeman training youth athlete Bailey Saunders

Longstanding ADP athlete Alex Edmonstone has enjoyed another successful year as Captain of Olton and West Warwickshire 1st XI. At the start of the year, he led the team to the indoor National Division 2 title and as we head towards Christmas, the team is sitting pretty at the top of National League Conference West looking to continue their Premiership promotion push in 2019.

Head of Performance Josh Bridgeman with Alex Edmonstone
Head of Performance Josh Bridgeman with Alex Edmonstone

This year has seen a successful year for the group of fighters we have had on the ADP. Thai boxer Louis Evans has won both of his fights this year alongside raising a new born baby! 2019 promises to be another exciting year for him with training already started for his next bout in March.

Within the Rigs coaching team, Callum Hawthorne undertook formal S&C for the first time in the build-up to his pro-K1 debut, which he went on to win. And, of course, Rigs’ owner Sam Smith returned to the ring for the final time winning with a comprehensive second round stoppage after following our holistic approach to his S&C (more details of the approach we took with Sam can be found on our Instagram page).

Fellow Rigs coach Rob Stevens, formerWorld Kickboxing Champion, has seen the success of these fighters and started on the ADP ahead of his fight in April 2019. So has Hamzah Muhammed as he returns to the ring in the next Strictly Business show


Anya Bates is another youth athlete who has achieved success on the ADP, with the highlight of her season winning her first ever English Schools medal in 2018, placing third in the Senior Girls100m hurdles.

Rigs Fitness Youth Athlete Anya Bates
Rigs Fitness Youth Athlete Anya Bates

Whilst many are winding down for a well-deserved Christmas break, some of our ADP athletes are still training hard in preparation for upcoming trial dates. Having competed for Great Britain in the European Junior Championships earlier on this year, Charlotte Rigg has been in the last stages of her preparation for Winter Nationals as she looks to end the year in style.

She performed exceptionally well in this National event, managing to get PB times in both of her events, and breaking a 20 year old West Midlands record, at the age of only 16! Her City of Birmingham teammate, Aimee Hood, has just begun preparation for the 2019 season where she will look to put in a strong showing at National competitions.

Harry Miles has started formal S&C as he looks to become a much more robust athlete in2019, with the added bonus of recent trials for both the men’s and mixed GreatBritain u24 Ultimate Frisbee teams.

Claire Rylance is training extremely hard as she looks to go into the England Women’s Touch Rugby selection camp at the start of January fitter and faster than ever before…just don’t mention the words Watt Bike to her!


This year has seen us develop closer links with Rickie Lovell and the team at Achieve Physiotherapy as we strive to provide the most comprehensive athlete support package that we can to our athletes. This means many of our athletes are able to benefit from the multi-disciplinary team approach we can take to their training and athletic performance.

One of our athletes who has benefitted hugely from this approach is Simon Ryder. When Simon first came to me, he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to lift properly again due to his injury history. Working closely with Rickie, Simon is able to lift heavy on a weekly basis chasing down numbers in the gym and making progress week to week.  

Members of Rigs – keep your eyes peeled for information releasing soon about an upcoming injury workshop atRigs in January.


A 2018 year review of the ADP would not be complete without mention of the launch of our very own Youth Athlete Academy. After an extremely successful taster session at our Open Weekend in June, we went from strength-to-strength with a successful SummerSeries during the school summer holidays before our main launch in September.In our weekly sessions, we provide a general physical preparation programme for youth athletes looking to optimise their athletic potential. We do this in a safe, fun and structured manner with DBS checked coaches.

The Youth Athlete Academy, Rigs Fitness Birmingham

If you like what you have read and want to find out any more information about our Athlete Development Programme then CLICK HERE FOR MORE 

Here’s to an even better2019!

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