Hull FC’s Josh Griffin has brought a personal touch to training in lockdown

HULL FC’S Josh Griffin has been putting his university studies to good use and also raising money for the NHS by running personal training programmes in lockdown.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 16/02/2020 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Hull FC v St Helens - KC Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England - Josh Griffin.

With rugby league out of action since mid-March and players furloughed, the Super League club’s player of the year was looking for something to help occupy his time.

As a qualified personal trainer who is also studying sports exercise science, Griffin offered his services to the Hull public and has been met with a great response from people eager to get fit or brush up on their rugby skills.

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The 30-year-old centre told The Yorkshire Post: “I’d decorated the house, finished all my uni’ work and I needed to find something to do to get up in the morning.

“It’s been great. I’m only doing two days per week. I couldn’t do it every day as it is quite full on so it’s just Mondays and Thursdays.

“It gets me out of the house and gets other people out of their houses, too.

“It gets kids with the ball in their hands again if they’re missing their own rugby training or, for other people who are struggling for gyms, gets them some personal training.

“Five pound of every £15 session fee is going to the NHS so it means a lot of people get to benefit.”

For fans of Hull FC it has also been a rare opportunity to practice with one of their heroes and a leading Super League player who was called into Shaun Wane’s England plans earlier this year.

Griffin, who played at Wakefield Trinity, Huddersfield Giants, Castleford Tigers and Salford Red Devils before finding career-best form in East Yorkshire, said: “The kids have enjoyed it.

“You can do more one-to-one training and work on stuff they might not normally get to do.

“With people having been on lockdown for weeks – now months – missing the game and seeing their rugby cancelled, it’s been good to help out and I’ve had a good reaction to it.

“For fans of Hull FC it’s good for them to get to train with a Hull first-team player and there’s been some nice messages from them on Twitter.

“But I’ve also had a lot of emails from parents saying their kids have gone home with real smiles on their faces.”

Although it is a bit different to KCOM Stadium, Griffin has been putting people through their paces at various park spaces around the city.

“Originally I was driving around and doing the sessions in different locations,” he explained.

“But I ended up all over Hull so I’m doing it from one location now not far from where I live.

“If it’s people from the same household, we can have up to six people at a time with social distancing and the equipment’s all sanitised so it’s very professional.”

Super League hopes to restart in mid-August but players have not yet been told any firm plans.

Explaining how he has found life in lockdown, Griffin said: “At the start, you were hoping to get back as soon as possible.

“But now it’s just a case of taking everything in my stride.

“Nobody knows what is happening. You’re hearing stuff all the time in the media but no one has actually said anything to us yet about this is what’s happening.

“I’m still training and trying to keep in the best shape I can.

“Sometimes it is a struggle for motivation and it is sometimes hard but we just have to keep on.”

He was the leading metre maker in Super League on 999m when it shutdown after seven rounds and his 39 tackle busts was bettered only by Wigan’s Bevan French.

With nine clean breaks as well it was no surprise there was talk of a potential first Test cap.

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