England players go space training ahead of ‘galactic’ Marriott London Sevens
England Sevens rugby players have undergone astronaut training ahead of this weekend’s galactic-themed Marriott London Sevens, finale of the nine-leg HSBC Sevens World Series.
The men and women were put through a space mission session arranged by their principal partner Heathrow Express, the train service connecting Heathrow and London in just 15 minutes.
Men’s captain Tom Mitchell and fifteen aside World Cup winner Claire Allan were among those put into a human centrifuge system, which pushes the human body to physiological limits, including blurring vision and decreasing blood pressure.
Trainees at the facility in Farnborough are more commonly astronauts or fighter pilots, who must get used to coping with extreme G-forces.
After being exposed to 4.4 times the normal force of gravity, Mitchell said: “I really had to fight against the force. The sense of tumbling when you’re actually stationary was also very odd. We’re always looking to learn new things from experts in other fields so that we stay as sharp as possible.”
Fraser Brown, director Heathrow Express, said: “While the England players are continually seeking to find new ways to condition themselves for the demands of elite international competition, we at Heathrow Express are continually seeking to deliver a better experience for our customers.
“This includes our Kids Go Free offer, which we recently made permanent, as well as our £10 single ticket offer running every Saturday throughout May.”
Heathrow Express recently wrapped one of their trains with England and USA sevens players to show its support for the two teams it sponsors.
“Fast trains, fast players – that’s us,” added Fraser.