Personal trainer students raise the bar at WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer competition heats

Over the last two weeks the team from AoC Sport has seen 30 competitors from 12 institutions across the UK compete in the live heat stages of the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition.

The competition manager, head judge, and team of expert judges have travelled the length and breadth of the UK to judge this year’s cohort of aspiring fitness professionals.

Competition heats were held at the brand new City of Glasgow College’s city campus and the Radmoor Centre at Loughborough College, with each competitor working individually with their own client and being judged by a team of three independent expert judges.

First they demonstrated their skill in an observed 40 minute personal training session of their own design before demonstrating their own personal competence in a ‘hard skills’ test.

Paul Swainson, head of personal training at Future Fit Training, who is judging with the competition for his third consecutive year, said: “What I particularly like about the Fitness Trainer Competition is the fact it is just that – a competition. We’re not assessing the competitors in terms of ‘pass’ or ‘refer’ [fail] as with formal qualification assessments, but rather judging who demonstrates the best personal training skills.

“It’s also great that we have the freedom to move beyond the requirements of assessments and judge competitors against annually reviewed criteria which reflect current best practice. Whilst the industry is now recognising the importance of softer skills such as communication, behaviour change coaching and business acumen, these have been a key focus for the last few years in the FTC which encourages competitors to up their game in these areas.

“This should not of course be at the expense of core technical skills, which is why the competition has a dedicated ‘hard skills’ component and it has been reassuring to see the competitors demonstrate sound exercise technique themselves – essential if you are to coach a client effectively.”

The WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition is the only industry-led, skills competition in the UK for students working towards qualifications in the health and fitness industry.

The competition is open to all learners on Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications regardless of whether they are studying at an FE college, with a private training provider or are on an apprenticeship.

The tasks devised by a technical experts group made up of professionals from across the fitness and education sectors are designed to bridge the gap between skills learned in education and the current requirements of the fitness industry.

Competitors involved in the competition are stretched and challenged to develop personally and professionally throughout the competition journey and are set tasks which reflect current industry trends.

Competitors were able to prepare themselves for the competition with valuable free resources provided by our competition partners at Active IQ and British Rowing. This year the competition has also partnered with fibodo as the official technology partner of the competition and Matrix who will again be providing the top of the range equipment for our live finals.

The live final of the competition will be held in November at the UK’s largest skills and careers event – WorldSkills UK LIVE (formerly the Skills Show).

For more information and to get involved click here.

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