Judges chosen for WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition semi-finals

AoC Sport has selected the eight-strong judging team for the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition as it heads into the national semi-finals stage.

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The competition is the first of its kind for the active leisure industry and has developed strong relationships with industry partners such as CIMSPA, UK Active, Active IQ, YMCA Awards and Future Fit Training to name a few.

The judging team were all trained in January 2016 and have taken on a judging role in at least one of the five live heats which took place throughout May.

Head Judge Karen Stanton and Competition Manager Christopher Pitts selected the team based on their expertise within the industry, proficiency in training and work with the competition team through its earlier stages.

The competition management team are very excited to invite these judges back to work with them again as the competition progresses and would like to thank them in advance for their hard work and dedication, as well as their employers who have been extremely generous in offering their time.

Karen Stanton – Karen takes on the role of Head Judge with 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 & internal quality assessor and trainer after a career spanning 18 years in private leisure, further education and training providers. Karen took on the role of Head Judge at every one of the live heats and saw all 40 Gym Instructors and 30 Personal Trainers who competed at an earlier stage. She will again lead the team through this stage on further on to the National Finals as part of the Skills Show.

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. Karen judged at the Exeter and Newcastle live heats and is a valued and experienced judge within the team.

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 5 years. Caroline judged with the team at the Loughborough live heat and brings with her a wealth of experience and professionalism to the role.

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. Sam has already proven himself to be a true ambassador for the competition and judged with the teams in Exeter and Basingstoke. His energy and passion for his trade are admired as part of the specialist team.

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. Reza judged in the Loughborough live heat and has a vast experience in his field and is a stalwart of the work of the competition.

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. Clare was involved in the competition at the Loughborough live heat and we are thrilled that she is able to join us again for the Semi-Finals, her experience in private training is invaluable to the team.

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. Paul has been vital to the 2016 competition and judged in Loughborough and Newcastle as part of the personal training judge team. His blogs with PT Magazine about the competition have been greatly received and we look forward to the next instalment.

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 as well as an external advisor to Ofqual after working as a specialist personal trainer to elderly and disabled clients and those with chronic medical conditions. Rob judged with the team at Basingstoke and his experience in the industry is visible through his work.

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 an IQA for Premier Training. Despite Eileen’s inexperience in the competition she showed how beneficial she can be to the team with her work in the teams at Newcastle and Glasgow which we anticipate to see through later stages of competition.