18 Sep

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rsz_1matthew_walker
Welcome back to these special blogs which hopefully provide a great insight into student life here at the home of the pathways, Medtia Square. I want to extend gratitude to the leadership here at New Bridge for allowing me to continue with these blogs, especially Mr Quinn! I hope to continue with innovative ideas to show everyone how students live life here in the centre of Oldham.

This year, Activ8 are room sharing with Lumenus which is especially surprising considering the smells which often follow our pathway after a sweaty gym session (more on “sweaty gym sessions” later). After celebrating a successful year, Digit4ll are on the first floor with Future Finders and the Pre-Internship pathway. Surprisingly, I have already had some IT students asking for Activ8’s return to the middle floor! ‘All has been forgiven’ apparently…

So, on to the first two weeks of term and Activ8 have been responding well to a set of core messages and challenges that were set on the opening day. Our pathway challenges us in a way that we haven’t been challenged before. The motivational message to inspire our time for the year is “I Don’t Quit” and that was tested during one of the most rigorous opening workouts known! The warm-up was the usual five minutes on either a bike, step machine or treadmill. This was followed by three sets on any assisted weight machine (ideally working a different set of muscles to make sure your whole body is warm). However, as it is only a warm-up, you don’t have to lift anything strenuous at this stage! We then went on to completing a workout inspired by the New Zealand Warriors rugby league team: 300 metres on the rowing machines followed by 15 chest-to-ground burpees and a 10 metre bear crawl. You don’t get much fitter from doing it the once so five times sufficed I suppose. Our cardio work done, we went on to the free weights to undertake a various range of movements including a fend off using a dumbbell – some of us did progress onto the barbell and mobility movements with our arms to improve strength. On the whole, a very good session. I am hoping to make these a little bit of a theme within this year’s blogs. Hopefully some of you readers can do these workouts and tell us how unfit we actually are!

The first Sunday of the academic year would typically mean a lie in till lunchtime and staying in your pyjamas all day dreading the Monday blues that are about to hit. Not for myself however, as I attended the Andy’s Man Club #TOGETHERSTRONGER event in Oldham Town Centre. A great event organised by our very own Mr Greenway to raise awareness of the #ITSOKAYTOTALK cause on World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s been three months now since I went through a very dark time. Now I have undertaken various treatments through my recovery process which is still ongoing, however it is Andy’s Man Club that has steadied the ship because it is there every week to give you support and guidance. Also, it provides a sense of self-worth which I have not personally had for a while due to my depression, because every member is part of a worldwide brotherhood! Even the social media posts that Andy’s Man Club produce give myself hope in what could be a bad day! I want to thank every single person within my support structure, you know who you are for supporting me during the difficult period.

I want to congratulate Jack and wish him all the best as he conquers Oldham Sixth Form! Jack and I enjoyed what we would call an entertaining rivalry, however his confidence and drive to succeed has found him enjoying this latest success!

Next week, Activ8 begin the defence of the One City League title so expect loads of photography and reports in the next blog as we aim to become the first team yet to defend our title!

Have a good week,

Matthew