Meet the Finalists in the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition
There are just four weeks to go until our eight newly qualified Personal Trainers from across the UK will compete as finalists in the 2018 WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition, supported by Active IQ and Matrix, and managed by AoC Sport.
Our competition manager, Christopher Pitts spoke to the finalists about their fitness aspirations, experiences of the competition and to talk about what they’re looking forward to.
• Lesley Jones from Coleg Gwent
• Louise Wilson from Cornwall College
• Kasia Matejko from City of Glasgow College
• Stacey Davey from Coley Gwent
• Katrhyn Hinsley-Jones from Trafford College
• Alysia Goodwin from Grimsby College of FE
• Harry Charnock from Trafford College
• Lawrence Edwards from University of Wales, Trinity St David’s
CP: So, welcome everyone. Let me start off by asking why you wanted to work in the fitness industry in the first place?
Lesley: Well, I lost 7 ½ stone personally and then found out I had a passion for the industry so decided to get out there and show people that no matter their size, age and time frame, we can all do it.
Louise: I’ve been totally passionate about sport and fanatical about exercise since I was a teenager! But for me, working in the fitness industry is much more than the chance to do what I love every single day. I want to share my passion with other people, help them feel physically and mentally healthy and help them reach their goals.
Alysia: It’s a challenging and exciting industry and there’s always something new and interesting to learn.
CP: Everyone was studying a Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification or similar when they competed earlier this year, is anyone studying at the moment?
Harry: I just finished my GP Exercise Referral so am really excited to start working with those clients as well.
Stacey: I decided that studying for my Sports Massage and Exercise Referral would be a great addition to my work as a PT.
Louise: I’m currently studying a distance learning course in ante-natal and post-natal fitness after experiencing post-natal injuries myself when I was competing in ultra-marathons.
CP: And what made you all want to enter the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition?
Kathryn: When my tutor told me advised me to enter the competition, to say I hesitated is an understatement!! I do believe though that anything that pushes you and gives you the chance to learn and study can only be a good thing. I can honestly say I’ve not looked back.
Kasia: I have a competitive nature and I like to challenge myself. In my opinion the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition is a great platform to showcase my personal skills and talents within Fitness Industry.
Lesley: I decided to enter as it would give me an opportunity to show case the skills I have already learned and also wanted to gain some experience if I managed to get though.
CP: So how has it been so far, taking part in the competition?
Louise: It’s been great so far. I was very nervous at the Regional Heats but once I got started and got into the session with my client, I really enjoyed delivering it. Everyone involved has been incredibly helpful, encouraging, professional and friendly.
Stacey: So far this competition has been a great experience that has allowed me to showcase my skills as a personal trainer. The competition has been fun as well as challenging but has allowed me to realise the pressures personal trainers face during daily tasks.
Katrhyn: I have been overwhelmed by the support of my bosses, colleagues, gym members and clients. It’s been a great experience up to now. I’m elated to have made it this far and can’t wait until the finals! It has made me reflect upon myself and my style of PT and appreciate just how much I love my job.
CP: And what are your career plans after the competition finals?
Harry: To try and get into a fitness manager role and expand my own personal training business. After the competition, I hope to be able to use the experience to further my opportunities in the industry.
Kasia: As an active boxing coach and exercise professional my aim is to build up on set of skills I already have and provide community with accessible health & fitness services.
Lesley: I am currently teaching classes along with a few personal training clients in the future I’d like to open up a small personal training business around helping people who are afraid to walk into the gym help them build confidence to let them see if can be achieved
CP: What’s your favourite exercise to demonstrate, or piece of equipment to work with?
Louise: One of my favourites is kettlebells. I incorporate these into a lot of different types of sessions – circuit training and HIIT for example. For some, kettlebells are more accessible plus, you can take them anywhere.
Stacey: My favourite exercise to demonstrate is the squat. It is an exercise that can be easily adapted to a person’s training ability and is also functional exercise that can help make daily activities easier. You can literally incorporate it into anything you do!
Alysia: Double crunch as I was never able to do more than two in a row without struggling now I can do more.
Harry: I enjoy powerlifting so in this I would show you a deadlift, squat and bench. Favourite piece of equipment is a barbell.
CP: And finally, what is one interesting thing which people might not know or assume about you?
Lesley: I lost 7 ½ stone 4 years ago and would never look back.
Kasia: I have served in Polish Army service for one year prior moving to UK and I am also a qualified dance teacher and a former professional dancer.
Stacey: I have been and active kickboxer since the age of 4 and received my black belt at the age of 9.
Katrhyn: I spent 5 years as a soldier in the Royal Corps of Signals, serving most of my time in Germany. I then embarked on a career as Cabin Crew, spending 17 years with a British airline, flying around the world before beginning my path as a Fitness Coach.
CP: What an incredible group of people, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you all do at the competition finals in November.
If you want to get updates about the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition direct to your mailbox, simply email FitnessTrainer.Comp@aoc.co.uk and you’ll receive our monthly newsletter.