WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition: Meet the finalists – Rosie Rotheram and Grant Morris

With just six 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.

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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 Rosie Rotheram and Grant Morris.

R – I’m Rosie Rotheram, I’m 21 and I’m from Cornwall. I’ll be competing in the finals of the Gym Instructor Category and I studied for this at Truro & Penwith College.

G – I’m Grant Morris, I’m 19 and I’m from Gloucester. I’m one of the finalists in the Personal Trainer Category and I studied for my Personal Trainer Qualification at Hartpury College.

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

R – I want to be able to inspire people and help them to change their lives. There have been many instructors that have driven me towards my goal, inspired me and guided me. I look up to those people so much and one day I want to give that back to other people, that feeling of true inspiration.

G – The fitness industry has always appealed to me, I’ve always been interested in it. I decided to try and make it something other than a hobby, completed the relevant qualification whilst working in a gym environment and at that point fell in love with what I do. I am terrifically passionate about what I do, and helping to change people’s lives for the better is a satisfaction, no words can tell

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

R – I am currently working towards my Level 3 in Personal Training.

G – I just finished my third year at Hartpury College with Level 2 qualifications in Gym Instructing, Spin Instruction and Circuit Training as well as a Level 3 qualifications in Nutrition, Outdoor Exercise and Personal Training.

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

R – The idea was presented to our group a while back when I was at the end of my Level 2 qualification and I thought it might be a laugh and I put my name down. My tutor then came to me and told me a few weeks later that she had chosen me as her top student in the category and would like me to go further in the competition, that’s when I got the bug. I want to be the best I can possibly be, deliver amazing workouts and inspire people. I had a taste of actually being good enough to do that, I was hooked I wanted to run after it as fast as I could.

G – I hadn’t heard of it before but the college put it forward to me and I really started to get into it when I came second at the live heat.

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

R – It has been a blast so far. I have learned so much, met some amazing people and got to experience some top notch facilities. It has been a serious learning experience that will push me further in my career.

G – The competition so far has been fantastic, I’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time! Organisation has been great, staff are always friendly and available to help, and the other competitors are willing to help which is great, it’s such a nice atmosphere.

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

R – Recently after my initial competition entry I was offered a job at my local gym. My plans now are to get as much experience and training as possible, and one day specialise in an area of fitness, after becoming a PT.

G – I recently set up as a self-employed personal trainer, under my newly established business; ‘Functional Fitness’, looking to further my knowledge and do other CPD courses.

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

R – I just want to inspire. Make people realise the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle at any age or time in life. I want to make the industry open to all, and be a wider-known prescription for health. I don’t want there to be anyone that feels lesser than anyone else because of their size or ability. We are all entitled to our health and I want to help people achieve that.

G – Everybody in the fitness industry has an impact, but I pride myself on having the personal touch, even outside of the gym, I will stop and talk to anyone! When it comes down to it, in the fitness industry not everyone wants to get their goals, some people use it as a social aspect which is why we need to be able to define what the customer really wants and cater to that need effectively.

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

R – I love kettlebells! One thing can be so versatile! Full-body work out or booty blitz or core or arms – it’s all there in one thing. I love showing people the versatility of the kettlebell and how much fun it can be to use one! Making them realise they really can do it. Everyone can!

G – Personally I like to utilise the hang clean in every session I go through, this is for a variety of different reasons. Firstly the hang clean is such a compound movement it really does hit the whole body. It requires a great amount of technical skill, which is something I thrive on; being able to work on the minor things such as triple extension, maintenance of the lumbar curve, velocity of the barbell etc. There’s always something to work on, and there are so many variations of the exercise; power hang clean, squat hang clean, clean pauses, and all of these can be utilised to become more specific to the session for example, if we were to do a leg-based session we would do squat cleans as the first initial exercise!

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

R – I was actually home educated. I’ve never been to school in my life. I went to college at 15 to pursue a passion for, at the time, dance. I had to work really, really hard to get in and keep up with everyone as I was younger and never had a mainstream education. I did a first diploma for one year and went on to do the BTEC national diploma for a further two years, as well as a GCSE in English, when I had never been to a single English lesson before starting a GCSE. I finished with a C in English and top of my class in the BTEC and the first diploma. After that my passions shifted slightly into fitness, but I always knew I wanted to teach and coach even before I started dance and drama.

From never going to school to starting a career in fitness, it can be done. I want young people who may not have done quite so well in exams or don’t know what they want to do yet or who dropped out of uni, it’s okay. If you work hard you can do anything. I started from absolute scratch and I’ve got myself a good job. You can do anything if you try hard enough.

G – I was in the GB judo talent development programme until I dislocated my right knee, which is why I do what I do now! I want to help others potentially achieve what I did not.

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 – Ai Lin Leow and Miyazim Ibryamov

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