Rookery Fit Farm is a small unique assault course fitness company just outside Bognor Regis offering training for both men and women.
Set in a beautiful rural location just outside Bognor Regis, we are easy to find and highly motivated to get you fitter in a friendly exciting environment.
The varied sessions are run by co-owner and chief instructor Dean Whitfield and are designed to be enjoyable and challenging whether you are just starting out, training for an event like Tough Mudder or simply want to hone your personal fitness.
Individuals, private groups and teams are all welcome. All standards of fitness catered for.
Some of the assault course obstacles you’ll find at Rookery Fit Farm include; tunnels, trenches, monkey bars, swing ropes, walls, tyre climbs, assault ropes and much more.
Meet the instructors
In September 2001, Dean was involved in a serious car accident, which left him with multiple life-threatening injuries. Extensive damage to the frontal lobe of his brain meant that he was paralysed from the neck down and he spent three weeks in an induced coma.
Because the brain’s frontal lobe is home to motor function, even minor damage can result in loss of fine movement and strength in arms, hands and fingers. It’s also the part of the brain that controls language, memory, problem solving and judgement – all the things that combine to form personality.
When Dean regained consciousness in hospital shortly after his 18th birthday, it was clear that he wasn’t the same teenager who had been involved in the accident. Leaving hospital in a wheelchair with a two-month memory blank and an uncertain future, he was told that he would never walk again. But his main recollection of that time is a feeling of gratitude just at being alive and determination to change his life for the better. In Dean’s words;
“When the brain specialist told me I wouldn’t be able to do this and that, I remember thinking ‘Yes I will – and I’ll prove you wrong.’ I was completely focused on moving forward. It’s possible to achieve truly amazing things if you really put your mind to it.”
Dean started physical rehab in the swimming pool, at first having to be hoisted in and out. Slowly, he became stronger and after six months could walk for short periods. After a year, he could walk normally and swim a mile. This would have been the end of the recovery story for most people, but Dean then decided it was time to hit the gym. Disallowed from driving after his brain injuries, he cycled the three miles to and from gym sessions, but having lost a lot of his childhood muscle memory, even the simple action of riding a bike was a process of re-learning.
Alongside the strenuous physical rehab, Dean also underwent five years of mental rehabilitation and speech therapy to help him overcome his accident.
And his persistence paid off. In 2008, Dean was awarded UK Fitness First’s New You Achievement Award. Receiving the award from GMTV’s Dr Hilary Jones, he was complimented on his success and positivity and described as ‘an inspiration to everyone.’
He now works as an advanced personal trainer and sports conditioning coach, with clients ranging from complete beginners to professional athletes.