NewFit was introduced to Newington in 2011 as a sport designed to continually challenge, both physically and mentally, students of diverse athletic ability.
Our NewFit Program
NewFit is a bespoke program developed at Newington, designed to give greater choice and challenge to boys in their sports choices. It has been a popular option for a range of boys over recent years, from top athletes to those who want more confidence in the gym. In NewFit boys engage in challenging workouts that utilise resistance, cardiovascular and flexibility training to challenge metabolic pathways and increase physical capacities.
In NewFit there is a strong focus on character, resilience and building personal toughness for the gym and in life. Individual effort is encouraged and physical literacy is key in developing student fitness levels. Members of the NewFit group work hard against their own tracked targets, working in different tiers of complexity and resistance. On three occasions during the season boys compete against each other in our NewFit Games.
NewFit operates out of the school Weights Room and Gymnasiums. NewFit originally used external facilities, but as of 2021 we have access to the excellent facilities at the College when we are training. Under the supervision of teaching staff, boys are guided by professional strength and conditioning coaches.
Due to the nature of the sessions this sport is only an option for boys in Years 9 to 12. NewFit is offered at Newington year-round, however boys can only participate in NewFit for one season per year.
Boys of all fitness levels and experiences are involved; from top athletes honing their performance, to boys recovering from injury, and others that focus on setting a strong foundation for future fitness.
Firstly, my congratulations to the boys in both summer and winter NewFit. In what was a challenging year for everyone, where the value of keeping fit and active was apparent, they did an outstanding job dealing with the uncertainty and frustration of 2021. The NewFit boys did an excellent job rising to the occasion and challenging themselves, particularly the winter NewFit squad, who had the final weeks of winter training moved online.
Secondly, my thanks to all the staff members involved in NewFit this year, whose dedication, enthusiasm and willingness to adapt the program for the betterment of the boys were outstanding. Like most sports, our programs had to run a little differently than in previous seasons. NewFit, one of the rare sports at the College offered all year round, used this as an opportunity to build our in-school program and deliver a meaningful and versatile program for the boys.
Our strength and conditioning trainer Mr Raymond Yu deserves a lot of credit for how he transferred the program to better the boys. He always created a range of challenging and exciting workouts to suit the boys. The development of the NewFit games as a milestone event at the beginning, middle and end of the season was a game-changer. It created excitement for boys and staff and added some friendly in-house competition to the program that everyone enjoyed. Students went head-to-head in a series of challenges that would test them both physically and mentally. While fun, importantly, the NewFit games meant that boys’ fitness was identified and tracked. Boys were grouped into gold, silver and bronze streams, with workouts targeted for maximum benefit.
Whilst mainly seen in the Weights Rooms, both summer and winter NewFit squads utilised different spaces on campus to bring variety to the training. Whether it was outdoor ergs on the Space Frame, farmer carries on Buchanan, sprints up the Johnson Oval bank, tug-of-war or warm-up dodgeball in the Old Gym, the session variety brought the best out of the boys.
Both NewFit seasons were fortunate to have a wonderful group of Senior boys who set an excellent standard for the younger members. Many boys who have been in NewFit for the last few years will have seen significant change, but regardless of where or how the squad trained, they’ve been positive, mature and committed. Because NewFit sessions allow a lot of autonomy to students, we rely on a culture of boys doing their best and supporting each other. The older students helped create this culture, and the younger generation in NewFit are indeed carrying it forward.
There are no external fixtures, public tries or goals in NewFit – our season highlights are often small personal moments, of which there were many across the two seasons. The handcrafted NewFit merchandise made by Director Mr Stuart Cook that was awarded weekly to students who attended all sessions, displayed their best effort and had a positive attitude during the week was always hotly contested. When the likes of Ms Halls, Mr Muir, Mr Egerton and Mr Priester came and joined the students for a session, it made for a great atmosphere as students would challenge them in various exercises. During the Winter season, seeing Hugh Harvey demonstrating perfect squatting technique to the Year 9 boys, Jett Varcoe quietly proving that he’s basically good enough to plank for Australia or Tee Barrington-Higgs pushing himself through the pain barrier for a personal best were just a few of these memorable and personal moments.
The NewFit program was fortunate to be blessed with a range of outstanding staff this year. Ms Tan regularly instructed the boys with their Olympic lifts during the summer months, while Mr Thompson always ensured they pushed themselves during every session and every exercise in winter. Coach Yu’s enthusiasm and energy made every training session exciting and meaningful. Mr Alex Fisher, our winter season Director, was first-class in ensuring the program was delivered and administered in a way that saw the students thrive in every session, especially during the online period.
It is disappointing to say goodbye to Mr Stuart Cook, the Director of summer NewFit, who left the College in 2021. He provided significant oversight, organisation and encouragement to the NewFit boys over several seasons. Mr Cook has undoubtedly left a lasting legacy, with those boys who received that sought-after NewFit merchandise having a great reminder of his service. He and Mr Fisher’s outstanding generosity and passion have much to do with the program’s undeniable positive and fun culture.
Directors of NewFit Mr S Cook (summer) and Mr A Fisher (winter)
Ms A Halls & Mr S Muir with members of the summer NewFit merchandise recipients after a hard session
Year 9 and 10 summer NewFit after their final session of the season
Year 11 and 12 summer NewFit prior to competing in the NewFit Games