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Real secret of All Blacks’ success is in the water!



A Galway-based sports performance guru can claim his share of the All Blacks’ spectacular Rugby World Cup success – and it was all in the water!

Because Pure Athlete – the company run by former Auckland Blues and Connacht Rugby performance coach Greg Muller and his wife Gena Brewerton – supplied his homeland with their recovery bath salts before and throughout the RWC.

Greg and Gina founded the company in 2010 – bringing together their combined love of sport, health and naturopathy led to them create a company with a very clear vision.

“We wanted to develop sports performance and recovery products that not only cleansed, helped to heal, repaired and rejuvenated the body but that they were also made from the highest ingredients,” he says.

“Being conscious that everything we put onto our skin is absorbed into the body we had a strong desire to formulate ingredients that would have both a positive effect on health and athletic performance,” he adds.

They started from their kitchen in Knocknacarra – but the vision was more important than the location.

“We were adamant that we would only use quality, natural, wild-crafted and organic ingredients wherever possible,” he says.

Greg has over 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, working and studying around the world.

He has trained professional sports teams and soldiers – he used to work as a physical training instructor with New Zealand’s elite forces – as well as helping a great many people achieve their health and fitness goals.

And he reveals that his company ethos focuses around four key elements.

“Our four key elements are service, hones, positive and earth conscious and it is always out intention to apply these in everything we do.

“We believe that by staying true to our values, inspiring the passion and talent of our people, working in sustainable, innovative ways and doing our best to be service orientated, honest positive and earth conscious, we will keep on making the products our customers love, while at the same time have a positive impact on the world we live in every day,” he says.

Greg’s philosophy is to ‘combine the physical and mental aspect of sport’.

As a performance coach, he was responsible for getting athletes and soldiers into peak physical condition – but he began to realise that physical conditioning alone was not enough.

A myriad of factors are involved and balance is required between skill development, strength and conditioning, nutrition and recovery.

Pure Athlete takes wisdom from ancient cultures that understood the importance of recovery and healing. During the physically demanding days of the Roman Empire, bath houses were common and bathing was a daily activity in Roman culture.

So Greg and Gina have adopted the Roman approach and reimagined bath time as an essential part of recovery.

Taking a hot bath has many associated health benefits which include helping with blood circulation, reducing muscle tension, removing toxins, reducing stress, boosting the immune system, inducing and sleep and indeed allowing for better quality sleep.

The combination of Epsom salts and essential oils, expedites the body’s natural process to bring about faster healing and recovery.

Using only natural ingredients and with a blend of 15 essential oils, the company has concocted a winning formula – the very one which helped New Zealand’s superstars recover so successfully during the Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks Strength and Conditioning Performance Coach, Dr Nic Gill, came across the product by chance at an Ironman Competition in Australia.

“When the website went up, people in fitness and health immediately started showing interest,” says Greg.

But one man in Australia showed more interest than most, and had an expo table at that Ironman competition. And who should stop by this stall only Nic Gill – Doctor of Sports Science, Performance Coach….and, as it turns out, Ironman competitor.

The All Blacks coach bought some Pure Athlete products to try out for himself, and Greg followed this up with an email after hearing the prestigious sports coach had taken samples.

Dr. Nic, impressed by the products, extended that he was in the market for something of a similar nature for the rugby team.

“He said: ‘I’m looking for something like this for the All Blacks’ I said okay – let’s do it!” says Greg.

Nic Gill has worked with the New Zealand All Blacks for the past eight years, during which time they secured Rugby World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015.

The renowned All Blacks strength and conditioning coach was so impressed by ‘Pure Athlete’ products, he included a testimonial on his website.

“Body care is essential and yet is regularly just taken for granted for the simple reason that it is well… just too simple or obvious.

“Many, many years ago Hippocrates said “Health is our greatest Wealth” yet it is not until we are ill or have an injury that we fully appreciate the power or importance of such a statement and the wisdom it holds.

“This is a simple, affordable and relaxing way to take care of your body on a regular basis and its right in your home,” he wrote.

Greg recalls flying over to England during the Rugby World Cup, rushing from plane to taxi to hotel in order to replenish supplies for the rugby team who would go on to win the Rugby World Cup.

Only downside? He still didn’t get a match ticket – but he played his part in his native country’s success from the sidelines.


Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.


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Councillors divided over vote on Salthill Prom cycleway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to install a temporary two-way cycle lane along Salthill Promenade hangs in the balance, with city councillors split ahead of a vote next week.

On Monday night, the 18 city councillors will discuss Mayor Colette Connolly’s motion that the lane be installed on the coastal side of the road from Blackrock to a point opposite Galway Business School.

A poll of the councillors carried out by the Galway City Tribune yesterday found nine in favour of the proposal, with one indicating they will abstain. A simple majority is required and if there is a 9-9 split, the Mayor holds a ‘casting’ vote, effectively a second vote.

There has been a flurry of lobbying by cycling campaigners urging councillors to vote in favour, as well as some complaints from residents worried it will again impinge on their parking as visitors to Salthill seek somewhere to park up while they swim or walk along the most utilised resource the city has.

During lockdown, Gardaí removed parking on the Prom to deter people from gathering in a public space. This resulted in motorists blocking driveways and entering private estates, leading one estate off Threadneedle Road to hire a private clamping company.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) believes there are a maximum of 250 spaces that would be lost to the project on one side of the road as currently proposed, including seven disabled spaces, which could be reassigned close by.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the issue and to see how each councillor intends to vote, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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