This week we celebrated National Fitness Day, an ideal opportunity to put the spotlight on OV and King’s Worcester Strength and Conditioning Coach, Harry Cronin (Br 02-09).
During Lockdown, Harry produced podcasts to engage with pupils when gym access, sports clubs and sporting events were all on hold. Now life is closer to ‘normal’, Harry is producing a series of interviews with top athletes whom he knows and has worked with to support the King’s Athlete Development Programme.
Harry explained, “I didn’t set a specific theme for these interviews but knew I wanted them to be informative and inspirational, and not focused solely on strength and conditioning, nor only on one sport as the interviewees will reflect the variety of sports in which our King’s pupils are involved.”
Recently, Harry interviewed two Rugby Union stars: Newcastle Falcons player and OV Sean Robinson (W 02-09) and Worcester Warriors Captain, Ted Hill.
Harry continued: “Sean is a perfect example of an OV and a multi-sport athlete who pursued a degree in Physics just as much as (if not more than) a career in rugby; he’s someone who spent his time at King’s playing sport and studying in a way that many of our pupils can relate to. Ted, on the other hand, was an incredibly talented athlete and went down the academy route at Worcester from a younger age. Despite both having different paths to success it is interesting to see that there are obvious similarities between their mindsets and approach to life in general.”
When the two OVs were discussing sporting careers, it was particularly interesting to hear Sean explain how his professional rugby career started: “I always enjoyed my rugby and always took my training seriously, and it was a case of just being the best you can be when you’re playing. I never really had those ambitions to take it further, probably up until the last year of my degree at university. That last year I started having conversations with the academy guys who are still at Newcastle, who would come over and watch some of the Durham games, and I had a few conversations with Lee Blackett (who was coach at Rotherham at the time) about potentially going there, and it just so happened that I chanced my arm at it and thought, “I’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to play professional rugby, I’m going to see how it goes”.”
Harry added: “I also spoke with Giedre Rakauskaite (Tokyo Paralympic Champion – rowing) just a few days before she flew to Tokyo, so pupils will be able to hear about her inspirational story from being unable to walk and stuck in a hospital for over a year following a major car accident, to a full-time professional rower representing GB.
“Beyond this I have a long list of cyclists, rugby players and even some retired athletes who I currently work with, outside my work at King’s, so we will hopefully have a diverse series of interviews that can offer students, parents, staff and anyone else an insight into a world that we often only see through our TV screens.”
You can watch Harry’s interview with Sean on YouTube here.
Definitely an inspiration Harry, thank you!