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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.


Party-goers in Galway hit with Covid fines

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most senior Garda has issued a renewed appeal this week for young people to desist from organising or attending any house parties as the local Covid-19 situation worsens – last week Gardaí were called to break up a number of gatherings in different parts of the city.

A total of 15 people were found to be attending one house party in the Salthill area last weekend while Gardaí were called to two other smaller gatherings – one in the Doughiska area and the other in Rahoon.

Cautions and Fixed Payment Notices (fines) were issued to a number of those involved. This week, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley has pleaded with young people ‘to stay away at all costs’ from such gatherings.

“We have very high Covid incidence rates in the Galway area over the past week; death rates from the disease are at their highest ever level; and the last thing we need now is groups of people coming together in confined settings.

“If one person has Covid at such a gathering then, in all probability, most others there will pick it up too and spread it their contacts and family members. I am pleading for people just not to do this.

“We are entering into our most critical period in trying to contain the spread of Covid-19, with the next month or so absolutely vital in our efforts to keep everyone healthy and safe and to try and avoid further loss of life,” he said.
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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Community gives new lease of life to Merlin allotments

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – In 2018, the allotments in Merlin Woods were in danger of falling by the wayside, with declining numbers and underuse blighting a facility that had huge potential.

Since then, the community has pulled together to create a space that locals are proud of and one that its advocates are hoping could be a template for other communities across the city.

Chairperson of the Committee behind this new lease of life is Michael Tully, who says the allotments have become a focal point for area, bringing together locals from all walks of life.

“It’s all about netting the community together and the response we’re getting has been unbelievable,” says Michael, who joined the committee in 2018.

“I started off as a user of Merlin Woods, walking by the allotments and thinking to myself that it would be great to grow my own fruit and veg.

“I started talking to a few of the plot-holders like John Rabbitte, Martin Lohan, Jim McCormack and Daithí O’Brien and they told me how to apply. I applied to the City Council and got my allotment in early 2018 and there were about eight allotments in use at that stage, all of us working away on our own.”

Two years later, all 42 allotments are in use, but it took the cooperation of Galway City Council and Trojan work from the community to get it to this point, explains Michael.

“We came down here every Saturday to clear the paths, dig out the weeds and make the place better. The sense of community was unbelievable. Anyone who couldn’t dig was bringing down flasks of tea and cakes to those that were,” he laughs.
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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National Transport Authority to progress Galway’s Park and Ride

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A dedicated unit established within the National Transport Authority will look at the potential of Park and Ride to help solve Galway City’s traffic congestion problem.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, said that Park and Ride facilities should not be restricted to the east, and sites needed to be located to the west and north-west to take account of commuters from Connemara.

Mr McGrath said Park and Ride would be advanced this year as part of the Galway Transport Strategy. He said that the Council, in conjunction with the dedicated unit within the NTA, would investigate feasible sites for the location of Park and Ride facilities.

Mr McGrath said that site selection and acquisition of land could commence in the second quarter of this year. He said he expected that Park and Ride would be progressed well before the Galway City Ring Road was built.

Director of Services for Transport, Ruth McNally, also said that the NTA was looking at the potential of sites in the city for Park and Ride and she insisted that money – or a lack of it – was not halting progress.

“Money is not a major issue for capital projects,” she said.

They were responding at Monday’s City Council meeting to councillors who lamented the slow progress on developing Park and Ride.
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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