WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition: Meet The Finalists – Team Scotland

With just two weeks 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 two of our finalists to find out a bit more about them and their experiences within the fitness industry.

This week, Christopher was chatting to  Emma Donald (20) and Matthew Pippard (19), both from City of Glasgow College.

C: Why did you want to work in the fitness industry in the first place?

EMMA: I want to work in the fitness industry because I want to make a difference in people’s standard of living. I enjoy educating and helping people to try to improve their health and wellbeing in a fun and enjoyable way. I find fitness both addictive and rewarding, not only participating in exercise and fitness classes but being able to help others. I particularly find working with children and vulnerable adults very satisfying and worthwhile. Each day it is great seeing my participants’ progress and achieve what they thought they couldn’t, this reinforces my decision to pursue a career in the fitness industry.

MATTHEW: Fitness has completely changed my life – making me a fitter and more outgoing individual. I want to help others receive the same benefits that I have received from a fitness lifestyle.

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

EMMA: I never thought about going for the WorldSkills UK competition as I have never been very confident in my own abilities, especially when participating in front of a large crowd. My college lecturer approached me about putting myself forward for the competition, as he thought I would be a good competitor. After weeks of consideration I decided to enter the competition and now recapping my experience, I never thought I would get this far in the competition. The competition and being involved in it, has made a massive impact in my confidence level as I now know I can do it.

MATTHEW: I decided to enter this competition to allow me to showcase my skills in prescribing and instructing exercise. As well as this I saw a good opportunity to develop these same skills.

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

EMMA: I have found the overall experience amazing so far. I have enjoyed preparing and participating in the competition. An area of the competition I have thoroughly enjoyed is creating the training programmes for my client as I feel this is a great way to experiment with different and unique exercises and push myself but also pushing my client to their limits.

MATTHEW: I have thoroughly enjoyed my time competing in the WorldSkills UK competition. It has been a fantastic experience so far and I am looking forward to continuing this journey in the UK finals.

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

EMMA: At the moment, I am studying sport science but I am still exploring all of my option for my future career within the fitness industry. I have not made any final decisions as yet. I am considering working as an active schools co-ordinator because I love working with children and using my fitness trainer skills could have a huge impact on the health and fitness of the future generation.

MATTHEW: I am currently personal training within The Gym Group – Hamilton. I am planning on continuing this profession in the hope of building a successful personal training business – giving me the opportunity to help more and more people.

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

EMMA: I would like to have a big impact in the fitness industry with both adults and young people, no matter their age and ability. I feel like changing people’s health and lifestyle to suit them better is great. Helping young people to get them involved in exercise from when they are young in nursery is a key factor, this is when they start to learn about their motor skills and will take these skills and use them throughout life. This is a key interest for myself as well as working with young people because the obesity rate in Scotland is continuing to rise. There are many benefits for young people to participate in exercise e.g. social skills, health and fitness and I would like to be a positive influence.

MATTHEW: I would like to leave a large impact on every client that I train; by helping them reach their fitness goal and improve their lifestyle.

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

EMMA: I have many favourite exercises and I don’t think I could narrow that down to just one. I love working out around the core area but if I had to pick just one, it would be the plank. The plank is an interesting exercise as there are many variations to it, it works many muscles at the one time and you can see results fast.

MATTHEW: I love to prescribe and teach the squat. It is a fantastic exercise that works your entire lower body – making it a very efficient exercise. No matter the goal – whether it is to build muscle or burn calories – the squat can help you achieve your fitness goals.

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

EMMA: When I was 14 I participated in a BBC competition Sports Relief Does Glee. I was part of a group of eight from my musical theatre group and we got through to the live rounds on CBBC!

MATTHEW: From the age of 13 I have successfully managed a small car valeting business.

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