The Price is right at the Blues. That is because the Blues Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jason Price spent 10 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
“Pricey” has been passionate about rugby since his school days in Southland where he played for the province through the age groups.
“The reality is that I was never big enough to pursue rugby so I initially looked at being a PE teacher. To be honest I didn’t know we had an Air Force until I went down that path.”
Jason joined up as a physical trainer initially at Blenheim and then Whenuapai, during which time he gained his degree and following 10 years in the Air Force he left to complete a post graduate diploma in health science.
He got an intern role at the Blues that year, moving up to assistant strength and conditioning coach and then to head trainer.
“I love rugby and I love pushing the boundaries and keeping fit – this role is a way of doing all of those things. And I love seeing players achieve and go as far as they can.” Jason said amongst players there has been a continued rise in game numbers over the last three to four years in particular.
“They are definitely fitter, faster and stronger. And it is great to see the guys improve over the last few years.
Take Rieko for example – he is 107 kgs, he has real pace, and he is impressive with the weight he can shift and how fast he can shift it. It is pretty mind-blowing where they are at.”
Running is a core part of the fitness regime. “If they are running-fit then they will do quite well on the field so we put quite
an emphasis on running to make sure that whatever their weight that they are fit.”
Jason said his team of trainers are all motivated to create a positive environment for the players, regardless of their results.
“When the boys walk in, we turn the music on and get their tyres pumped up – and do whatever we can to lift the mood and get the boys moving.
We are lucky to work in a quality facility, with good people and quality athletes.”