WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition: Meet the finalists – Megan Goodlad and Jack Burbank

With just two weeks 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’re talking to Megan Goodlad and Jack Burbank.

M – Hi, I’m Megan Goodlad, I’m 19 and from South Shields. I’ll be competing in the Gym Instructor category of the finals.

J – Hi, I’m Jack Burbank, I’m 22 and I’m from Leicestershire. I’ll be competing in the Personal Trainer category.

C – Why do you want to work in the fitness industry?

M – When I was young, I loved learning about how the body works and how sport affects the body’s muscles and bones. So now, I am very enthusiastic when it comes to anything to do with sport. I love getting to know people and I love motivating them to do well. Even when clients feel that they cannot achieve their goals, I get great satisfaction showing people how much potential they have to achieve what they want.

J – Fitness has always been a passion of mine since a young age. I have always enjoyed exercise and being within a gym environment, so to do this as a full-time job is a real pleasure. I love having an impact on people’s lives. Transforming an individual from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and then them smashing their goals, feeling better about themselves is exactly what I want to be achieving!

C – Are you currently studying? If so, what?

M – Yes I am. I am going to study for a BTEC Diploma in Sport in September and I will be working towards a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification at South Tyneside College which will help increase my chances of a job within that industry. I hope to get this qualification by June next year.

I have just finished a BTEC Sub Diploma in Sport and I have already gained a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification in June 2016 at South Tyneside College which has already helped me to get a casual job within the college gym.

J – No, I have recently completed my CYQ Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. I am currently looking into additional courses/qualifications that I can undergo to improve my arsenal – sports massage, strength & conditioning etc.



C – What made you decide to enter the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition 2016?

M – My college lecturer Lisa told me about the competition and put me forward for it because she said that it would help develop my skills within the industry and that I had the potential to do well. This gave me confidence that no matter what happened, I would always have her support and the support of the college.

My other lecturer Claire also gave me her full support and assured me that just by entering this competition, I can put this on my CV and that it increases my chances of a job within sport.

I knew this opportunity was too good to miss and I really wanted to experience how hard you have to work when you are a gym instructor and the benefits of helping people to achieve their goals.

J – I had previously competed in the Fitness Trainer Competition in the Gym Instructor category. I was successful in winning that category as well as producing a two-minute video that I also won. This spurred me on and gave me lots of motivation to compete again this year. I had a really enjoyable experience last year round so thought it was a no-brainer to compete again. The competition is filled with nice, positive fitness experts that I am pleased to be a part of!

C – So how have you found the experience of the competition so far?

M – I have loved every second of it! The fact that I got given the chance to use different facilities and equipment has been an absolute thrill. The staff and judges at the competition have been amazing and their feedback really motivated me and helped me to improve on my weaknesses.

I also got to meet professional personal trainers and gym instructors who have been in the industry for years and I gained a lot of good advice and knowledge from them.

The highlight of the competition was when I went to Loughborough University to compete, because the sports facility and gym was more amazing than I ever expected it to be and I would love to go again.

J – The experience of the competition so far has been brilliant. I would definitely recommend to anyone that is interested about fitness to get involved. It’s a great way to meet fellow instructors/trainers and get different perspectives on exercise. Overall it has been a well-run event that I would happily get involved in again within the near future.

C – What are your career plans now and after the competition?

M – For now, I am enjoying my job as a gym instructor. I am building my confidence every day and learning to adapt for each client. After the competition, I am going to work towards a Personal Trainer qualification so I am looking into working in that industry. I would love to try and be a personal trainer for a few years, but my dream job would be to become a PE teacher within a school or college, so this is what I am working towards.

J – I have recently created my own freelance personal training business – ‘JBBFITNESS’. The plan is to expand my client base, carry on teaching my fitness classes at two gyms, and create a bootcamp class which is out of the gym environment where anyone can attend. Long-term the dream would be to own my own training facility – warehouse/ unit/studio – where personal trainers can bring their own clients and train – as well as having a small member base so that they can use the facility as well for a more functional based environment.

C – What impact would you like to have on the fitness industry?

M – I would love to show everyone that sport and exercise is something you don’t need to be scared of, but instead it can be something enjoyable for people of all ages.

I love working in the gym environment and showing people how different machines and exercises can help you achieve certain goals and fitness levels.

I would love to go the extra mile and set up fitness classes which will help me to adapt for each client, but also this would increase my confidence as a coach. Preferably, I would love to be a PE teacher within a school, showing young people that sport is enjoyable and should be something that people automatically want to participate in. I have so much enthusiasm for sport and I want this to come across in my teaching and hopefully this will become my identifying mark.

J – I would like to have a big impact on the fitness industry. I believe that both health and fitness play a vital role within life. I couldn’t think of anything more satisfying than helping others to achieve their goals – seeing a client go from step one to step two and feeling a lot more confident and happily about themselves. I hope I have a lot more customers that are pleased with the service that I offer and a lot more results hopefully to follow!



C – What’s your favourite exercise to demonstrate/piece of equipment to use and why?

M – There are so many to choose from, but I would say my favourite is the shoulder press with dumbbells.

When I show a client how to do a shoulder press, I get them to sit down on an exercise bench and I feel that this relaxes the client straight away.

As I am going through the exercise, I stand behind the client and I talk to them constantly so that I am sure that they are comfortable with what they are doing.

I love this exercise because I am really comfortable with talking through the technique, but my favourite part about the exercise is that it shows the client how much support and attention I am giving them which has a huge impact in motivating a client to do well.

J – My favourite exercise to demonstrate would be the ‘battle ropes’ – this is because it is such a simple piece of equipment but so effective at the same time. It can be used as a multi-dimensional piece of equipment working the heart-rate, upper and lower body as well as core stability. I mean who thought slamming a rope as hard as you can, onto the floor could be so much more!

My favourite piece of equipment to use would be the ‘prowler’ or the ‘sledge’ – this is a pushing-based exercise that really focuses on increasing the heart rate and building strength and power. I enjoy performing this at the end of mine or a client’s session (dependant on their goals) as it really takes everything out of you – can be used as a good finisher.

C – And finally, what interesting fact would you want other people to know about you?

M – I was home-taught. I went to school until I reached six years old. After that, my parents took me out of school and home-taught me until I turned 16 and then I went to college to study sport.

My parents were worried about the decision they made when I was young, but this competition has proved what a fantastic job they did in teaching me and that they made the right choice for me at the time.

It was the best education I could have received and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me.

J – My favourite film of all time is Titanic. I fancied ‘Kate Winslet’ as a kid and aspired to being Leonardo Di Caprio’s ‘Jack Dawson’ in the film. I must have watched it at least 50 times, despite the film being just over three hours and 15 minutes long.

I also have a trainer/shoe addiction. I currently own 23 pairs of gym trainers/ running shoes – this also includes football boots.

The WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition final will take place at the Skills Show, at Birmingham’s NEC in November. Book your place here.

More: Meet the finalists – Samantha Laird and Thomas Gallivan