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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.


LDA identifies lands for over 6,000 new homes in Galway City



From this week’s City Tribune: Investment of €1.8 billion is needed to deliver on the potential for more than 6,000 new housing units identified by the Land Development Agency in Galway City.

The LDA’s Report on Relevant Public Land identified eight sites in Galway which it claims can deliver up to 6,050 affordable and social houses, if planning and other constraints are overcome.

It identified potential for up to 2,240 homes on HSE land at Merlin Park Hospital; up to 1,010 homes at Renmore Barracks; and up to 950 homes at Galway Harbour.

The report conceded these sites are on complex land with “numerous constraints” and are longer-term possibilities requiring masterplans.

The other six sites include: Ballymoneen Road; Terryland Waterworks on Dyke Road; Brothers of Charity Services on Old Dublin Road; City Hall at College Road; and Sandy Road.

Galway’s sites are among 83 State-owned landbanks the LDA has assessed as having development potential for up to 67,000 homes.

Only Ballymoneen Road and Dyke Road are in what the LDA terms Class 1, which can deliver a maximum of 420 within five-ten years.

This includes between 140-200 homes on Ballymoneen Road, and between 160-220 homes at Terryland Waterworks on Dyke Road.

The cost for the development of Ballymoneen Road, on a site opposite Coláiste na Coiribe, would be between €41.2m-€50.7m.

The total cost of delivering up to 220 homes on the Teryland site is between €78.5m and €101m

The remaining 93% of the total city target face greater constraints, and longer timeframes.

Almost 70% of the  target, or 4,200 units, is earmarked for sites that are ‘Class 3’, which are lands that have potential for residential but face more constraints and are longer-term possibilities requiring masterplans.

The LDA carried out an assessment on the eight sites in the city, which had an “indicative yield” of between 4,330 and 6,050 new housing units.

John Coleman, LDA Chief Executive said his organisation was “committed to working closely with the public bodies to find common ground for the release of land for affordable housing purposes and for the common good”.

This was a first step that “will lead to the identification of locations where new affordable homes can be built”, he added.

(Image: Lands at Galway Harbour identified by the LDA for up to 950 homes).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read extensive coverage of the LDA report and for indicative maps of the lands, see the March 31 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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Transport concerns over Knocknacarra high-rise apartments plan



From this week’s City Tribune: Galway City Council has sought further information from the applicants proposing to develop 227 apartments in seven high-rise blocks at the entrance to Gateway Retail Park in Knocknacarra.

In what is the second application for the site at Gort na Bró, Glenveagh Living Ltd is seeking to develop five blocks ranging in height from three to five storeys – with 85 one-bed units, 139 two-bed units; and three three-bed units.

In a Further Information request, the Council noted that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) expressed concerns that the development “is located in close proximity to the preferred and/or approved route” of the N6 Galway City Ring Road.

“The authority is of the opinion that insufficient data has been submitted with the planning application to demonstrate that the proposed development will not have a detrimental impact on the capacity, safety or operational efficiency of the national road network in the vicinity of the site”.

Planners state that the creation of a “fifth arm” on the roundabout from the Western Distributor Road into Gateway Shopping Park and the site proposed for development was not discussed at pre-planning meetings and “is not permitted”.

Cycling facilities have been identified as concerning, as the two-way cycling lane on the WDR “ends abruptly”, bringing cyclists into the path of oncoming traffic.

Bicycle parking included in the application would be “difficult and inconvenient” to access and would not store non-standard bikes with cargo elements, it is outlined.

(Photo: Cllr John Connolly meets with residents to discuss the Glenveagh apartments proposal).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the March 31 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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Junction underpass in Galway City regularly left under water



From this week’s Galway City Tribune: An underpass to facilitate pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate the Briarhill junction is regularly flooded with up to three feet of water discommoding the most vulnerable road users.

The popular ‘line’ walkway connecting Renmore to the heart of the city is also often deluged with water.

The two routes are used by hundreds of people to get around without cars but are an example of how Galway City Council are slow to address active travel issues, according to newly co-opted Social Democrats Councillor Alan Curran.

Cllr Curran had to warn off four people from walking through the underpass when he passed through last week.

“It’s like that for a few weeks. This happens regularly. I understand from the Council it’s a drainage issue. They’re aware of it and they have cleaned it out but it keeps returning in heavy rain,” he explained.

“The impression I got was it will take a while to get fixed. It may require some heavy engineering solution. My concern is the longer these things go on, the less people use them. Their only other option is wait ten minutes or longer at the begging buttons to cross four sets of lights.

“The entrances are dark and narrow and don’t give the illusion of safety for those using it, especially during the dark winter months. There was a pedestrian and cycling tunnel recently built in Amsterdam and the difference is stark – they know how to do it right.”

Head of Transport at Galway City Council, Uinsinn Finn, said the underpass was constructed as part of the original N6 Link, in the mid-90s when a roundabout operated.

When the roundabout was replaced with a signalised junction, with pedestrian crossing facilities and cycling lanes across the junction, the underpass worked more as a secondary option for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Underpasses – and overpasses – are not ideal and not considered in the city as we put pedestrians and cyclist generally ahead of motorised traffic and accommodate them at junctions with at-grade crossings,” the engineer stated.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the March 31 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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