Reds recruit former boxing champion Holiday
January 6, 2009
The Reds' new fitness consultant Philip Holiday, pictured during his time as IBF light heavyweight boxing champion © Getty Images
Queensland Reds have enlisted the help of former IBF light heavyweight champion boxer Philip "No Deal" Holiday to help with their preparations for the new Super 14 season.
South African Holiday, who moved to Australia after a carjacking incident in his home country left his daughter traumatised, has been working to improved the players' stamina and ability to play through the pain barrier.
"I'm not teaching them how to fight. I'm building their mental toughness," said the 38 year old Holiday. "While boxers are on their own in the ring, Holiday's training program with the Reds focuses heavily on the importance of not letting your team-mates down.
"Rugby is a team sport and I want these guys to be prepared to keep going not for themselves, but so they don't let their team-mates down. If someone gives up during one of our sessions, the whole squad has to start again. They're (the players) definitely getting tougher as a result," he said.
Although his move to Australia was motivated by negative events, Holiday has settled well and runs a gym in Brisbane when not working with the Reds. "I decided that was enough," he said. "We had to get away from the violence. I enjoyed my time here in Australia when I'd come here before so it was a logical choice to come back. I've gotten to know these guys really well. The Reds are my team, now."