50 Years of Squat-thrusting


Whatever mental image the name Squat-thrust.com raises, it probably isn’t a men’s keep fit group in Sherborne. But
Squat-thrust.com is celebrating its 50th birthday this year … and many of the members have been involved for almost the entire time the club has been running. The average age of the membership is 73, and they are still going (very) strong, still performing just as they did all those years ago. Admittedly there may be a measure of rose-tinted glasses there …
Squat-thrust.com meet every Thursday night at the Gryphon School in Sherborne for a warm-up and stretches and an hour of circuit training, followed by an hour of volleyball as a cool down – although it can get a bit competitive. The group finishes up with an hour (or two) of ‘rehydration’ at the Digby Tap!
The group was initially set up by Alan Fall, head of PE at the old St. Aldhelm’s School, and it began simply as a way for friends and colleagues to keep fit. It was then adopted by the local council as an adult education course, and taken over by the Head of PE at the Gryphon school, Allan Martin, who still runs the group’s evening sessions today.
A few years ago it ceased to be a local authority course – threatened with closure, the members refused to lose their club, instead getting together and starting to run the evening classes themselves.

We blame the pub
In addition to the central Thursday night training which helps to keep the members fit and moving, there have been various spin-off activities – a badminton group, a golfing association – and various social events such as meals, walks and curry nights all based around the Squat-thrust.com-ers membership. It was on a group walking weekend on Dartmoor that the rather unusual name for the group was chosen (a squat-thrust is one of the exercises they do, in case you were wondering). It is ruefully acknowledged that being sat in the pub at the time of the discussion may have had something to do with the choice.
The evening’s physical activities are always based around what each person feels capable of doing – although Allan very much encourages maximum effort and total commitment!

Join the gang
Squat-thrust.com are always happy to welcome new members – they get particularly excited if it drops their average age a bit. People in their 50s and 60s and even younger are very welcome – it is requested that they just don’t show up the older members too much.
Having said that, a son of one member came to a session and was mightily impressed by the standard, especially when he realised he couldn’t keep up with some of them!
The group would be thrilled if Squat-thrust.com can keep going for another 50 years – and although perhaps not all the current membership will make that, they certainly intend to still be going in the 2030s … just a little less vigorously, perhaps.

Dick Bennett – 01935 474306

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