Here is another fine example of some of the brilliant work done by our premier European partner, IndigoFitness!
Wasps Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby union team based in Coventry, England. They play in Premiership Rugby. In 2019 a sizeable investment in Wasps future was made with the purchase of a former Warwickshire College site in Henley-in-Arden, with a plan to redevelop the site and turn it into an Elite Performance and Innovation Centre, Wasps first permanent training ground of its own since leaving Sudbury in 1999.
After a lengthy selection process, in early 2021 IndigoFitness was appointed to design and fit-out the strength and conditioning facility within the centre. As part of the agreement IndigoFitness became an official partner and supplier of Wasps, giving the business a platform to showcase its product quality and gym design expertise in an elite sports environment.
Adam Benson, Wasps’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This is a great partnership for the club as we look to develop one of the best performance centres in the country. Indigo are not only one of the leading UK strength and conditioning gym equipment suppliers, but also a local business.” Head of Performance Pete Atkinson added: “Indigo have been instrumental in helping us plan and design a training environment built around our specific needs and requirements. They’ve already proved to be a fantastic partner and we are delighted to have them on board.”
The original plan was for the existing 30m x 18m (98’ x 59’)sports hall of the college to be redeveloped to include a mezzanine floor, with the strength and conditioning gym on the ground floor. IndigoFitness, in close collaboration with Wasps coaching staff, were tasked to work up a proposal designed to meet current and future training requirements and compliment the wider facility design.
We quickly engaged with main site contractors Wigley group, where our experience and depth of knowledge enabled us to demonstrate that the proposed structural floor would not be adequate. We went on to advise on appropriate sub-floor construction and specification to support the required training activities. As in many instances what appeared to be a simple layout became complex, and delivering simplicity often necessitates complexity in design. Wasps coaching staff also had several prerequisites from which the wider gym design would need to evolve, including a 4G rugby turf skills area, 6 x lifting stations with option to double this capacity, and a large turf zone for sled work and other controlled training.
Time is precious in elite sports, therefore access to training zones and transition between areas is important. With this in mind we centred the gym design around logical linear spaces, to maximise visibility and control within zones, and divided these with smart low level bespoke storage that could feed the training areas. We also utilised the structural steel support columns within the design by wrapping storage around them, accommodating equipment such as plates, bars, and collars.
The coaching staff worked closely with the Indigo design team to adapt existing strength equipment to meet their needs, and also create a highly bespoke connected power rack system to give them the 6 lifting stations they needed. The option to double the capacity of lifting stations was provided by 6 sets of squats stands that could be wheeled into position when needed, but also stored out of the way to give more floor space when not. A 7m x 18m 4G rugby turf skills area was added at the end of the room, with med ball ‘dead pads’ added to walls, plus band and tube anchor points to make the space more versatile. A 22m x 4m turf track with custom markings joins the skills area and runs down the centre of the room.
The training surface is built up to 32mm across the entire gym and includes, 32mm (1.25”) duraTRAIN® Rubber Fitness Tiles by sofSURFACES, 4G turf with two impact layers, integrated extended lifting platform centres, and the 4m wide turf track with a shock pad underlay. Storage was further incorporated into our new integrated pulley system, ensuring not only that all small equipment and accessories could be safely stored away, but to allow equipment distribution in strategic training areas.
Wasps Rugby have officially opened the doors of their new state-of-the-art multi-million-pound Elite Performance and Innovation Centre – which gives the club one of the finest training complexes in English rugby. In addition to the gym, the centre features a grass pitch which is identical in size to the pitch at the club’s home ground Coventry Building Society Arena, and a 3G+ surface has also been installed to allow for training in all weather conditions. For player recovery there are two large hydrotherapy pools and a sauna.
The finished gym looks fantastic but is also highly practical and has the feel of a training space ‘to get things done’. Both Indigo and the Wasps’ players and coaches love what has been collectively created. The training space was personalized for Wasps with their logo carried across to embroidery, Indigo’s unique graphix lifting platform centres, and steel frameworks, and their famous black and yellow colour scheme was applied across the equipment. We even designed bespoke storage pigeonholes to allow players to store their personal kit when entering the gym.
Pete Atkinson (Wasps Men’s Head of Performance) said, “At every step of this process the partnership we have created with IndigoFitness has been sensational. We have spent many hours and days together sharing ideas, discussing options, and evolving the iterations of the design concept. Their attention to detail and understanding of the needs of the high-performance environment is second to none and they have always been willing to find a solution to any challenge. In recent weeks the installation team have done a tireless job in bringing this concept to reality. The result is a genuinely world class facility and one that we’re exceptionally proud of. This would not have happened if IndigoFitness had not been relentless in supporting our ambition with their can-do attitude, attention to detail and ability to innovate and adapt.”
Training Space Conceptualization, design, installation, story and all assets provided by Indigo Fitness.