AoC Sport trains and appoints judging team for the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition

The WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition is the first of its’ kind for the active leisure industry and is developing strong relationships with industry partners such as CIMSPA, UK Active, Active IQ and Future Fit Training to name a few.

As these relationships develop, so does the reach of the competition in all stages, not least in our judging team.

AoC Sport, as manager of this competition, has recruited and trained a team of 22 judges drawn from across the sector who will work under Karen Stanton as head judge through our passive stage, live regional heats, UK semi-finals and UK finals.

Many of these judges have been involved over the past three years of competition and stayed with the team despite changing roles in colleges and other businesses. All new judges and many returning judges were trained together in a full-day CPD session delivered by the competition manager and head judge at Sport England.

The day comprised of competition information, roles of the judges including group workshop activities, competition criteria workshops, the online test and video showcase, including assessment practice activity and a session on protests and appeals.


From this day, a full team of 22 has been appointed (click on a judge’s name to see more about them):

Karen Stanton– Karen takes on the role of head judge within the competition, after her involvement over the past competition cycles in a similar capacity. Karen has vast experience in the sector and currently works as a freelance consultant, external and internal quality assessor and trainer after a career spanning 26 years in private leisure, further education and training providers.

Lori Randall– Lori is one of the founders of the competition from when it was managed by Central YMCA Qualifications starting in September 2012. She now takes on the role of expert advisor and judge for the current WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition and has been involved in the competition longer than anyone else currently on the team. Lori has extensive experience in the FE sector and awarding organisations as a business development director and currently heads the Youth Sport Direct i-Academy.

Karen Ramsay– Karen has been involved in the competition in the past as a judge, regional host and coach to competitors. She currently works as a lecturer at Stoke-on-Trent College and owns her own training company; KR Fitness Education.

Bridget Heath– Bridget is a stalwart of the competition and has been involved for several years in her role as a lecturer in Sport and PE at Queen Mary’s College and as director of her own training company, Spectrum FIT.

Robert McGeoghegan– Robert is a returning judge to the competition and currently teaches BTEC Sport, Gym Instructing and Personal Training at Havering Sixth Form College in London. He also assesses the Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer qualifications for Central YMCA.

Caroline Kelly– Caroline has an extensive history within the health and fitness industry spanning 17 years and currently holds the position of Deputy Head of School for Sport, Leisure and Service at Tresham College of Further Education where she has taught for five years.

Craig Prophett– Craig is no stranger to the competition, having been involved with his college – Exeter – in every year of the competition and now for the second year as a judge. Craig is currently the CYQ Co-ordinator at the college and will want to beat his second place Gym Instructor result from the 2015 event.

Clare Everest– Clare has been involved in the competition in previous years through Warwickshire College as the course manager for YMCA fitness qualifications. Clare re-joins the judging team from her own training company; Everest Fitness Education.

Sharon Penrhyn-Jones– Sharon’s involvement in the competition spans several competition cycles as a judge, regional competition host and successful coach of several finalist competitors. Sharon was a lecturer at West Cheshire College in fitness courses and apprenticeships for 10 years before moving to become an EQA at an awarding organisation.

Mark Thorpe– Mark has also been involved in the competition for several years as a judge and successful coach to first-place students. Mark’s career in further education fitness training has spanned over 15 years and is a valued asset to the competition in his current role at Loughborough College.

Sam Kenny– Sam is a new addition to the team for 2016 and we welcome him from his role as a Sport, Exercise and Fitness lecturer at Cornwall College, St Austell.


Richard Letts– Richard has been involved in the competition for 2014/15 and is a valued member of the team throughout his varying roles with Leicester College, as co-owner of ReFitness Studios and a verifier for Edexcel & Pearson. Richard currently works in the construction industry as well as his studio and is highly experienced in the health and fitness industry, and keeps on top of his CPD.

Paul Swainson– 2016 will be Paul’s first year judging as part of the team and he joins us from Future Fit Training where he is the Head of School for Personal Training. Paul has been in the industry for the past 12 years and brings a wealth of experience with him.

Jim Clements– Jim has been involved throughout the competition’s history as a judge and regional competition host. He joins us again for 2016 from his role as the Sports and Fitness Co-ordinator at Halesowen College.

Claire Atterbury– Claire is a returning member of the competition team and joins us for 2016 from her role at Cornwall College as the Exercise and Fitness Course Manager.

Reza Gholamli– Reza has been in the judging team in previous years and judged at last year’s finals. He is currently the Head of School for Sports Science, Fitness and Wellbeing at Preston’s College.

Louise Fletcher– Louise also joins us from Cornwall College where she is the Lecturer and Course Co-ordinator for exercise and fitness.

Colin Hanson– Colin joins the team from his role as a tutor of Sports and PE at Havering Sixth Form College.

Pamela Greer– Pamela has been involved in the competition in previous years and comes from a college with a strong WorldSkills UK reputation; City of Glasgow College where she has held the position of Senior Lecturer for almost 15 years.

Robert Wilkie– Rob is another new addition to the team and brings with him 22 years of experience in the active leisure sector. Rob is currently the compliance and standards manager at SkillsActive and REPs after working as a specialist personal trainer to elderly and disabled clients and those with chronic medical conditions.

Katherine Benson– Kat is a new team member for 2016 and is currently the Curriculum Development Co-ordinator for YMCAfit. Kat was originally trained as a personal trainer at City of Bath College by Lori Randall who also sits on the judging team.

Eileen Baron– Eileen is new to the Fitness Trainer Competition but has a wealth of experience in further education and with awarding bodies. Eileen is currently and assessor, tutor, course co-ordinator and lead IQA for Eclipse Training Associates.