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opening


ONE-STOP SHOP F


Rebecca Douglas reports on the new Premier Training Academy in north London


insbury Park is one of the busiest tube stations in London and, as you walk out of the Wells Terrace exit, you find a


small but bustling street, dotted with small independent shops and outlets. Just opposite the station, nestled among all this activity, is a state-of- the-art health and fitness educational training centre – the new flagship training venue for Premier Training International (PTI) and one of the first fitness job shops in the country. When PTI was told that its existing


training site in Finsbury Park was due to be demolished as part of a multi- million pound regeneration project by Islington Council, the London team – and indeed their students – were faced with an uncertain future. “It was a shock and, in the early days,


extremely worrying, but this was the best thing to have happened to us,” says Simon Rhodes-Chamberlin, academy


58 manager of the London training centre.


“We were reaching capacity in our old building. It was a great facility but, at 743sq m (8,000 sq ft), it was becoming a bit of a squeeze. We knew we needed somewhere bigger, but in the same area. As luck would have it we found our new home within weeks – and the cherry on the cake was that it was around the corner and in a high street location.” The London Academy is the fi rst


PTI centre to be based in a purpose- built facility. Mark Botha, chief operating offi cer for Premier Training International, says: “We traditionally benefi t from space in health clubs, which are fantastic facilities, but our new centre allows us greater fl exibility.”


training facilities The design and build stage of the refit was started in January 2010 and the project was completed on time and on budget (£550,000), with the team moving in to


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


its 1,132sq m (12,187 sq ft) home on 5 April 2010. The official opening was in June and since then it’s been business as usual, with students graduating every four weeks, ready to embark on their new careers in the fitness industry. “We train more than 500 students


each year and have a 96 per cent pass rate,” says Rhodes-Chamberlin. PTI also guarantees its graduates interviews and meetings with all the local employers towards the end of the course. Traditional full-time courses, such as


the diploma in personal training, run fi ve days a week, taking 10 weeks to complete and comprising classroom- and gym- based programmes. At any one time the centre will host three full-time courses, each catering for 15–25 students. “We also aim to lead the way on CPD,


through courses such as our recently launched Power Clubs qualifi cation and by delivering training in the latest fi tness crazes,” adds Botha.


october 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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