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Ruggers versus Runners


Who’s fitter, runners or rugby players? Fitness First answers the question with Operation Shape Up. (Photo: SSC/Bibek Gurung)

It is not often that athletes from different disciplines are pitted against one another, but on 12 March, two sprinters and two rugby players were put together in an informal contest of fitness.

 

As part of International Fitness Week Sprinters Gary Yeo and Calvin Kang from the Singapore Amateur Athletic Association and Sidney Kumar and Nick Groen from the Singapore Rugby Union took part in Operation Shape Up, a programme organised by health club group Fitness First.

 

Held at the stunning vista which Fitness First’s One George Street gym offers, Operation Shape Up saw the athletes and some personal trainers run the gauntlet of fitness stations. These included chin-ups, sit-and-reach and push-ups, stations which any Singaporean male who has gone through the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) would be familiar with.

 

The athletes and trainers put their backs into the challenges as International Fitness Week ambassador and former pop sensation Mel B cheered them on. At the end of the events, Mel gave out prizes to the best performers. Although the rugby players dwarfed the others with their sheer girth, it was the runners who came out tops.
 

“Well I took this as a fitness test and not a competition and didn’t go all out,” said Kang, who got third place. “But I was still surprised that I got third. I guess it proves that fitness is not determined by size.”

 

The rugby boys did not perform as well as the runners for the challenge, but as Kumar explained “Our training is a bit different. There is a technical aspect to our game; we don’t just focus on getting fit but also on other things like tackling and endurance.”

 

Ultimately, the winner was one of the personal trainers with Fitness First Muliadi who said modestly, “Even if you think I’m taller or fitter than the others here, there is still someone else who can become fitter. Being a champion is easy, staying a champion isn’t.”

 

The athletes also expressed interest in more cross-discipline activities. “There’s not much interaction’s between our sports associations so it’d be nice to trade training techniques and see how we fare against each other,” said Groen.

 

Managing Director of Fitness First, Anthony Tottman said of the event “Operation Shape Up is for everyone. It’s about testing yourself to see where you fitness levels are because just knowing where you sit is a great starting point.”

 

“Getting the guys here today was just a bit of a fun competition to see who was the fittest of the athletes but it’s good that one of our guys came through in the end and won,” said Tottman with a laugh.

 

International Fitness Week takes place from 14 to 20 March and features a range of activates organised by Fitness First designed to promote fitness.