StACFit has replaced the old fitness centre, which needed to be moved to make way for construction of the new Theatre Complex, which gets underway later this year.
The vision behind StACFit is to provide the St Andrew’s College community with a recreation facility of the highest quality to help support physical, mental and emotional well-being of students, sports teams, curriculum classes, and staff.
Fitness Centre Manager, Trent Harris, says the new facility has been a hive of activity since it opened, and is being well utilised before, during, and after school. “The feedback from staff and students has been great, with many saying it is lighter, brighter, better resourced, and so much more inviting than the old fitness centre. The students are always asking questions and seem to be really enjoying it. We’ve also noticed a big increase in the numbers of staff using the facilities.”
The construction of StACFit began in 2019, when the College’s existing Gym 1 was renovated and strengthened so the new Fitness Centre could be constructed on top.
Features of the spacious 41m long by 8m wide (328 square metre) facility include a high roof, which creates a sense of space, a 24m exercise strip, an extensive range of fitness equipment, and acoustic windows, which also provide sweeping views across the campus.
General Manager, David Evans, says it is a ‘fantastic facility’ which students in particular are gaining huge value from. “We have wrapped an entire support structure around the Fitness Centre to ensure everyone gets the maximum benefit from it, and that it operates safely. The project was designed by Wilkie and Bruce and constructed by Naylor Love, and we are very pleased with the quality of the outcome.”
StACFit is ticking all the boxes when it comes to health, well‑being, and recreation for the St Andrew’s College community, with all students and staff able to access the facility, and even get a personalised workout programme.
It is also a welcoming place, says Fitness Centre Manager, Trent Harris, who took up the role at the start of the year after working as a supervisor in the old fitness centre in 2020, and assisting with strengthening and conditioning of the 1st XV rugby team. “Our supervisors do a really great job of welcoming the students in and helping them with whatever they need. This definitely makes them want to come back, along with the number of specialised programmes we have introduced to help them get the most out of the facilities."
The first introduction to StACFit for many students will be during the Orientation programme for Year 9 Physical Education classes. An Athlete Development programme for Year 9–10 students has also been introduced. It starts with orientation and general use of the equipment in Year 9, and moves into programmes designed for health and sports performance in Year 10. Students also learn about correct lifting technique during this programme, says Trent. “Once a week, students work on lifting technique with our trainers, so that during supervision hours, they are able to perform these exercises with good technique and safety.”
A Learn to Train programme has been introduced to support all sports played by Year 9–11 students. StACFit is also highly utilised by NCEA Physical Education students in Years 11–13.
Director of High Performance Sport, Rod McIntosh, says as well as supporting the curriculum and providing general health and recreation benefits for the wider St Andrew’s College community, StACFit is providing a great opportunity for individual athletes and sports teams to get into peak shape while preparing for their respective summer and winter codes. “During Years 11–13, the focus shifts more towards the individual progression of our athletes. We work closely with these students, including our High Performance Sports students, to develop sport specific, individualised programmes, designed to help them to reach their unique performance goals, whether they are competing as an individual or in a team environment.”
An ADP Lifting Programme and Certification is also in place, and there is a good turnout to the early morning spin class for staff each Friday.
StACFit is open before school and after school for general use, in the evenings for boarders, and is open to all at weekends. Two hours a week are currently allocated for girls only sessions.
Trent says there is already evidence the new facilities are enhancing well-being and fitness at St Andrew’s College. “Hopefully we’ll see a continuation of that success, both in terms of participation, and the results on the sports field or court.”