Inspirational training camp for the Scarlets
3:02pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
RAF physical and mental training was the inspiration for the Llanelli Scarlets Rugby team as they undertook a three-day pre-season training camp at St Athan's No 4 School of Technical Training.
Members of the RAF careers liaison and outreach team, led by Sgt Simon Jones, put the 46 members of the Scarlets squad, including a full backroom staff and the entire playing contingent, through three gruelling days of intense military training.
British Lion Jonathan Davies joined his Scarlets colleagues, including internationals Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams, Josh Turnbull and Ken Owens, at St Athan where a significant part of the camp was focused on leadership skills.
Acting Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Simon Middleditch, said: “The Scarlets did remarkably well considering the early starts and long training schedule."
The RAF team devised activities that took the players away from the conventional training field and tested them with a series of unique situations and exercises.
Squadron Leader Middleditch added: “The type of training the team has received will have taught them a lot individually, how they work within their particular team and how to get the best out of themselves and others."
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said: "The players performed very well and really bought into the whole experience individually and collectively.
"We've tested problem solving, leadership, decision making under fatigue, reaction under pressure and how players process information and communicate with each other to complete varied tasks."
Feeling very much part of the camp’s social life, the Scarlets took part in a quiz night before presenting Squadron Leader Middleditch with a farewell gift for 4SoTT in the form of a signed shirt, framed and ready to hang in the Sports bar.
Simon Easterby concluded: "We are grateful to everyone at the base, the RAF outreach team and all those involved for supporting what has been a very beneficial and inspiring few days."
The first game of the season sees the Scarlets welcome PRO12 champions Leinster on Friday, September 6.