WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition: Meet the finalists – Team England

With less than a month to go until this year’s WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition finals at the Skills Show, taking part at Birmingham’s NEC Arena, Competition Manager Christopher Pitts caught up with four of our finalists to find out a bit more about them and their experiences within the fitness industry.

This week, Christopher was chatting to Bjorn Westman from Exeter College, Loughborough College’s Sarah Woodhouse, Chelsea Mears-Graham from Trafford College and Harrison Fernandez of Cambridge Regional College.


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

BJORN: I really love seeing the improvement others make because of the impact my expertise and knowledge in training.

SARAH: I am passionate about a healthy lifestyle and helping others to achieve their goals. With increasing health issues – both mental and physical, I would love to help encourage people to see the importance of fitness and how it can be incorporated into their everyday lives.

CHELSEA: I want to inspire people to live a healthier life.

HARRISON: I want to work in the fitness industry because I love to see progression and development, which is a great way to achieve both. There’s so much to learn and take in with new studies always coming out and great clientele, so it can never get dull!

C: What made you enter the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition for 2017?

BJORN: It sounded like something really good to have on a CV and looked fun to take part in.

SARAH: It sounded like a challenge and I’m always up for one!

CHELSEA: I was nominated by my tutor at college to go for it as they thought I’d do really well.

HARRISON: The opportunity came up for me to enter the competition and I couldn’t think of a reason not to give it a try. It’s a great chance to see how far I can go.

C: And how have you found the competition experience so far?

BJORN: Good fun and challenging, too.

SARAH: It’s been absolutely brilliant!

CHELSEA: A bit overwhelming but enjoyable.

HARRISON: I’ve enjoyed the competition so far as it’s completely different to all types of competitions I’ve ever done in the past leading me to gain new experiences, which I’m always looking for!

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

BJORN: To become a player development coach in basketball that can also handle strength and conditioning as well as the nutrition of the athlete to help them perform to their potential.

SARAH: To continue offering outdoor post-natal mother and baby classes, core restore classes, and to work one-to-one with clients offering personal training. I would like to increase my use of social media in order to demonstrate workouts and show people that they too can adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle.

CHELSEA: I’m going to be working towards my exercise referral qualification eventually and progress to targeting the wider community.

HARRISON: Currently my career plan is to build up my reputation as a personal trainer over the next year, while introducing my own online programs to reach out to a larger audience and help in that industry too. Then I will be heading to university, where I hope I can keep my online PT active and then get back into again after with more knowledge and experience.

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

BJORN: To show how simple fitness and reaching goals can really be with the right methods.

SARAH: To encourage people to see that health and fitness can easily be incorporated into their everyday lives, it doesn’t need to be expensive and with the right mind-set it is very achievable.

CHELSEA: To help people live a healthier life as people are scared about fitness and I want to empower more women to become active.

HARRISON: To be able to introduce new training programs to increase power and strength relating to my sport, which will help it to develop a lot further as it’s only new and still developing massively. Also I would like to be able to make a difference for all those people who are looking to completely change their lifestyle.

C: What is your favourite exercise to demonstrate/piece of equipment to use and why?

BJORN: The kneeling squat/knee get-up. This is because it has a complex amount of motor skills to be able to perform it as well as muscle power to get the correct position.

SARAH: I love the Swiss ball and stability ball, they encourage the body to respond to instability to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles which become stronger over time to keep balance – great for helping with improving core stability.

CHELSEA: Clean & press with the Olympic bar, because people struggle to do it correctly and it targets several major muscle groups at once.

HARRISON: My favourite type of training is mostly functional training as it’s great all round to help get in shape and it relates the most to me as I do parkour/free running, which is essentially functional training in all areas.

C: And finally, do you have an interesting fact about yourself?

BJORN: I have an open mind. Having an open mind allows you to accept and be accepted by all types of people and can lead to infinite possibilities.

SARAH: I was raised with Orang-utans in the jungle of Borneo.

CHELSEA: I am the promotional girl for Active Tameside advertising campaigns. And in my spare I compete in triathlons.

HARRISON: I practice parkour and free running, leading me to go to professional events and travel the world.

C: Thanks all, great talking to you. Best of luck for the finals, I can’t wait to see how you tackle the tasks.