The Task

To provide an ‘access for all’ gym

As a highly-regarded school with many advancing and able athletes representing their sport at a national and international level, King Edward VI School (KES) in Southampton recognised its school gym was too focused towards 1st team school sports and not on developing its talented elite athletes. Coupled with that, it was also un-welcoming environment for girls to train in.

So their decision to refurbish and extend the facility was driven by 3 key desires:

  • Provide access for all students and teachers, making the ‘gym’ a place for all to enjoy going to and training in – male or female
  • To support the school’s elite athletes who often found it difficult outside school to do the level strength training needed to succeed
  • To support all King Edward VI school teams (not just 1st teams) and make fitness training part of the weekly routine to engender the culture of fitness and conditioning needed for development in sport.

KES had seen the work Absolute Performance had successfully completed at Canford School, as well as elsewhere in the education sector, and chose to engage with us, utilising our vast experience working within the education sector.

The Solution

The squash court conversion…

The location for the new facility was a relatively un-used squash court, providing the floor space and height for a great split-level facility – light and bright and welcoming.

The upper level of the gym was installed with spin bikes and treadmills providing cardio training facility for general class use as well as athlete training.

The multi-function training room downstairs is used for general strength and conditioning work. We installed a variety of heavyweight flooring in a low-level platform area with power rack and benches. The AP heavyweight flooring is ideal for strength training and the development of athletes, as it is resilient and multipurpose.

We also supplied the school with a variety of fixed resistance machines all of which will enable the students of all levels of ability to train safely.

Soft plyo boxes with the school crest and a variety of functional fitness equipment including kettlebells, dumbbells and gym balls were installed to enhance the facility.

The Result

A light, bright facility providing ‘access for all’.

The new strength and cardio focused training has transformed the workout experience for all. Whether it’s an elite athlete or a school team, the areas of training (strength and cardio) provide a welcoming and safe environment for everyone to train, both boys and girls.

We initially chose to speak to Absolute Performance after seeing the work they'd done at Canford School.  With all their experience working on similar projects, they quickly understood the breadth of our brief/requirements, and demonstrated a very sympathetic approach. They came to visit our facility before making any recommendations and were able to work with us producing a final plan that not only met the brief, but was within our budget.

They gave us excellent advice on how best to use the space we had regarding the mix of equipment and flooring, ensuring we had a good balance of both strength and cardio equipment and always thinking about the end objective. At all times their communication on the progress of the order was clear, and before, during and since installation their customer care has been great. We have an ongoing service contract with AP now to ensure that all the equipment is kept in good working order. I would highly recommend them for any future projects.

Dan Kent - Director of Sport

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