Go hard: Erin Buxton and Nicholas Greenland do some sprint training during the Athletes Hour at Big River Squash and Fitness Centre.
Go hard: Erin Buxton and Nicholas Greenland do some sprint training during the Athletes Hour at Big River Squash and Fitness Centre. Adam Hourigan

Athletes can cash in on program

A NEW Big River Squash and Fitness Centre program is providing talented young athletes with a priceless opportunity.

The brainchild of the Grafton centre's owner Tracey Gray, the program, called Athletes Hour, offers dedicated youngsters one-on-one interaction with personal trainer Brenton Tarrant.

And with most households tightening purse strings, the free classes are a godsend for parents.

"We wanted to start a sponsorship program for athletes in the community and we knew it was tough financially," Gray said.

"The reason it started was because I was knew how expensive it was for young athletes to train.

"I'm not in that position (to pay large amounts) and I don't know many parents who are."

Seven of the initial 12 places in the program have already been booked.

Gray said "showing commitment and dedication" was key to gaining a start.

Currently, athletes from water skiing, rowing, basketball, cycling and squash take part in Athletes Hour.

"I know how hard it is getting kids to competition level given the financial times," Gray said.

"And it was designed for kids that were achieving high levels but now as long as the kids are committed we are happy to help them."

Gray said the entire program was her way of opening doors for young athletes who may not otherwise get the chance.

"Brenton said he would like to do that as a way of giving something back to the community," Gray said.

"And the kids are really loving it."

Meanwhile, the Big River Squash and Fitness Centre will this weekend host its squash Grafton Double Up competition.

With teams from the fire brigade and hospital, it promises to be a fun two days when the action starts at 11am Saturday.



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