Ex-Bristol City and Bristol Rovers men aim to share their elite training tips as Fulham star pays a visit

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Two men, formerly of the city’s biggest football clubs, are hoping to inspire you to new fitness goals.

Two Bristolians are hoping to use their elite sport experiences to help grow a new business venture.

George Rigg, 28, and Steve Matthews, 29, have both been on the books of Bristol City and Bristol Rovers previously (one as a player, and one as a backroom staff member), respectively, and the pair know the levels of preparation it takes to play for the region’s biggest football teams.

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The duo have opened the new Trax Performance gym, situated at Windmill Leisure on Henfield Road, close to the M4, where they will put that knowledge to good use.

Matthews was with Bristol City and Yeovil Town as an undergraduate intern and more recently the Jamaican men’s national team, and also Bristol Rovers as the academy’s head of medical, as he developed as a medical practitioner.

Rigg was a youth player at Ashton Gate playing alongside now-Fulham stars Bobby Decordova-Reid and Joe Bryan from the age of 12 right through to 18-years-old, but left BS3 for first-team chances elsewhere, spending time with Exeter City and Stoke City too, before dropping down to the semi-professional game, playing at Bath City and Chippenham Town.

Trax Performance is a new gym at Windmill LeisureTrax Performance is a new gym at Windmill Leisure
Trax Performance is a new gym at Windmill Leisure | Trax Performance / BristolWorld

Rigg now plays for Frome Town but recently took time off to open their new gym and start things off on the right footing.

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And Decordova-Reid was even one of the first visitors through the door to see the pair’s new venture, with new Bristol Bears signing Ellis Genge expected to call by in the next days too, with the England prop also being a good friend of Steve’s from Bristol.

“I’m a sport rehabilitation therapist and I started off working in football orginally, at undergraduate doing two years at Bristol City, and after that I went and did some work there that went really well,” explains Matthews.

“I then went into more of a private field and working with elite athletes in performance gyms working in Bristol, similarly to this, and I did George’s ACL rehab actually, which included doing time at St George’s Park,” he adds, with the pair having known each other for years but that rehabilitation drawing them even closer.

George Rigg playing for Chippenham Town in the FA Cup First Round match against Northampton Town in 2019.George Rigg playing for Chippenham Town in the FA Cup First Round match against Northampton Town in 2019.
George Rigg playing for Chippenham Town in the FA Cup First Round match against Northampton Town in 2019. | Getty Images

“I was then at Bristol Rovers for a season last year, at the Gas, and I was head of medical for the academy there, which was good but challenging at times.

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“That made me a better practitioner as I had to be more creative but I really enjoyed it, but at the same time we were planning this,” he explains.

The two offer rehab, small group fitness sessions, sports massage and gym equipment, making the most of their previous experiences. There are yoga classes too.

A mutual friend helped with the building of their new gym facility and, after a long wait coming out of covid, the pair are now up and running determined to put their learnings to good use.

“Bobby [Decordova-Reid] popped in on day one of opening to have a little session,” says former team-mate Rigg.

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“Joe [Bryan] will come down, and quite a lot of the local academy boys too.

“Going from our backgrounds, we’ve been involved in elite sport, we want to bring our style of training and knowledge to the general public.

“We want people to feel they can train in an elite way day-to-day. Even if they’re not competing at an elite level though, moving better, moving well and moving consistently.

“And we want to open the door to people who might not have the chance to be in an environment like this,” explains Rigg, who is looking forward to getting another season under his belt with Frome from August 13 when the Robins’ new campaign begins in the Southern League Division One South.

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