Dedicated band sweat out summer

A DEDICATED band of BITS Saints AFL players are busy sweating it out through summer training sessions in preparation for a busy 2006 season.

Under the guidance of A grade full forward Nathan Shipard, the group, a mixture of junior and senior players, are pushing themselves through fitness and ball skills work at a time when they could be forgiven for having Christmas celebrations foremost on their minds.

Shipard, coach of the AFL Capricornia under-16 side, said the group was predominantly made up of about 15 juniors, aged from under-13 to under-18, looking to get a head start for the upcoming representative season.

The sessions are particularly productive for under-18 players who begin their representative season next month.

Several senior players have also decided to maintain their fitness during the off-season.

'It's good for the kids having some of the senior players around,' Shipard said.

'We're concentrating more on the fitness side of things but with the younger kids we're also doing a bit of ballwork.'

The players have been training three afternoons per week from 5pm-6pm since the start of this month.

Shipard said any BITS players keen to participate can attend the next session at BITS Oval on January 16.