WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition: Meet the finalists – Kaja Choma and Jordan Patchett
With just one week to go until the start of the Skills Show – where AoC Sport will be managing the finals of the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition – Competition Manager Christopher Pitts chats past, present and future with the finalists.
The finalists have been competing since March 2016 and have taken part in institution-based competitions, live regional heats and a semi-final at Loughborough University. The competitors will now all be challenged once again across the three days of the Skills Show to demonstrate their talent and skill in either Personal Training or Gym Instructing.
A team of four expert judges has been brought together from the four corners of the UK and will work underneath Karen Stanton as head judge to assess the finalists in both competitions.
This week we have a special edition, featuring our two Northern Irish finalists Kaja Choma and Jordan Patchett. Both are from Belfast Metropolitan College – the first time the college has entered the competition.
K – Hi, I’m Kaja Choma, I’m 25 and I’m from Belfast. I’ll be competing in the Gym Instructor competition.
J – Hi, I’m Jordan, I’m 22 and I’m from Belfast. I’ll be competing in the finals of the Personal Trainer category.
C – Why do you want to work in the fitness industry?
K – There’s only so much of sitting in front of a computer a person can do. It’s bad for your spine, it’s bad for your hips, it’s bad for your eyes, it’s bad for everything. I am passionate about movement, sports, human body and its mechanics. The fitness industry is where I can see myself growing and evolving, doing what I love and what I feel most competent at. It’s also where I feel I could have the biggest scope to positively impact other people’s lives by encouraging them to respect and love their bodies, and look after their overall health and wellbeing.
J – I’ve always had a personal interest in fitness, keeping myself in shape and tackling new challenges weekly. I believe my attitude and drive towards a healthier, fitter tomorrow will change people’s lives for the better in this industry.
C – Are you currently studying? If so, what?
K – I graduated in Psychology a few years ago and I soon realised that there’s no better place to test your mental resilience and strength than at the gym.
J – I’m not studying full-time anymore, I have just recently finished my Level 3 Personal Training course and am scheduled to get a fat loss certification in the coming days.
C – What made you decide to enter the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition 2016?
K – Encouragement from my tutors to share my passion and enthusiasm for fitness with others.
J – My Tutors in my college approached me and said they seen potential in me to enter this competition. I convinced myself that this would be an excellent opportunity to enter such a prestigious competition to see how far I could go.
C – So how have you found the experience of the competition so far?
K – A little bit stressful, a little bit exciting, and a little bit competitive. But mostly incredibly informative, encouraging and fun.
J – The experience has been nothing short of awesome. I’ve enjoyed the travelling over to England to compete in something I love. Meeting exceptional people along the way has been a bonus and another opportunity to gain experience.
C – What are your career plans now and after the competition?
K – I am currently exploring opportunities to start running my own fitness and boxercise classes in the local area. I am now working towards securing a venue and completing promotional material for my services.
My achievements in the competition so far gave me an extra boost of confidence and drive that pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the world of the unknown.
J – I plan to get experience as a personal trainer now after studying and becoming certified. However I also plan to keep learning and trying new things, as one’s mind can always be developed through more courses, the teachings of experienced individuals and reading.
C – What impact would you like to have on the fitness industry?
K – There’s a really simple quote by Derval O’Rourke, a former champion hurdler, that really resonates with me. It says “I eat and train, not diet and exercise”.
My goal is to change the perception of physical activity and healthy lifestyle as something difficult, challenging and out of reach for most people, and use my knowledge and enthusiasm to inspire and empower others to improve their health, not by implementing drastic temporary measures, but by learning to work with their bodies, to respect them and to love them. Losing weight, building muscle, toning up – these are all important goals, but our ultimate goal should always be to give our body what it needs to be strong, healthy and injury-free.
J – An overall positive impact, one that motivates individuals into wanting to better themselves and become healthier, stronger and fitter, as my overall goal is to change lives. I’d like to achieve a level of respect that people who know of my name/business know that they are guaranteed results if they put in the effort.
C – What’s your favourite exercise to demonstrate/piece of equipment to use and why?
K – I like teaching boxing drills and watching a pile of mistakes and confusion slowly evolve into a perfect punching combo.
J – My favourite piece of equipment to use would be the barbell. Simply because it’s the mother of all equipment, you can get a whole body workout with it and do great functional training. My favourite exercise to teach would be the deadlift. This exercise feels great to perform and builds serious strength. So many people underestimate how rewarding it is to perform.
C – And finally, what interesting fact would you want other people to know about you?
K – I don’t have a TV and refuse to get one.
J – I enjoy doing crossfit in my spare time, I would recommend it to everyone.
The WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition final will take place at the Skills Show, at Birmingham’s NEC in November. Book your place here.