When Gryphon football players return to campus in January they will have a new, world class training facility. And it won’t be just a bigger and better weight room.
The new facility will be four times as large as the old one. It will contain a 45 yard, 2 lane Mondo track, the same type as used in the Olympics. The balance of the floor will be covered with a custom made rubberized flooring in Gryphon colours – black with red and gold flecks. Another notable addition will be a plyometrics pit for jumping and explosiveness training. The new, world class equipment will occupy ten workout areas in front of a mirror covered wall. Overhead will be five programmable LED timer clocks and a wireless, remote control camera that will allow workouts to be videotaped and then reviewed by players and coaches.
A new training facility was identified by new Head Coach Stu Lang as an “immediate must-have” for the program almost as soon as he took over. That came as no surprise to me. When I first saw the “old weight room”, I was shocked how small and inadequate it was. It didn’t begin to compare with the facilities at some of Guelph’s OUA rivals. That will no longer be the case.
Coach Lang entrusted the team’s Athletic Performance Consultant, Chris Munford with the task of designing a top-flight facility. In one way Guelph was lucky, in that there was a fair bit of under utilized space on the stadium’s 2nd floor where the weight room was. I believe Chris Munford’s design turns that wasted space into a first class facility. Speaking with Chris recently he told me “we will now have a facility that’s equal to what they have at Ohio State, just not quite as big”.
But first class, world class and top-flight don’t come cheap. A campaign to raise $180,000 was launched in August. Before the football season ended more than 90% of that amount had been raised and the project moved forward. One of the fundraising appeals referred to several “strong messages” that achieving this goal would send. I believe it clearly says to players, recruits, alumni and fans that the University of Guelph is committed to competing with Canada’s best football programs on an annual basis.
Update: More photos can be found here.