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Emma Stewart, 20, was one of the first students to be hired by Fit4less Stevenage and, having excelled during her training, is now expected to manage the college’s new gym franchise project in Letchworth.

What’s your role at the gym? I’ve been at Fit4less Stevenage for just over two years. I’ve worked my way up to assis- tant manager, having started on my PT Level 3 qualification and then moving on to my Level 3 Leisure Management qualification in my second year. Initially, I was working as a general fitness instructor, whilst looking aſter some personal training clients and classes.

What does your day-to-day role include? I work a variety of hours which could include opening the gym at 5.45am and closing the gym at 10pm. In that time, I complete all health and safety checksheets, interact with members, do general cleaning, induct new members and cash up at the end of shiſts. My roles have increased since becoming assistant manager as I now monitor the business plan, set up 1-2-1 meetings with other staff and deal with customer feedback as well.

What attracted you to the scheme? When I found out I was able to further my knowledge whilst working within a realis- tic and successful gym environment, I was instantly attracted. I also liked the fact that I would be completing a college course, but in a commercial environment, as it means you get a lot more life experience from day


to day activities. I completed my fitness instructor course while I was still at school and this gave me a feel for which sector I would like to further my knowledge in.

What training courses are you undertaking at the moment? In my first year I completed the Personal Training course which included practical elements as well as theory exams for anat- omy and nutrition. Aſter that, I then began a leisure management course for my second year; this included units such as leader- ship, communication, health and safety, staff development plans and many more. During these two years I also became a qual- ified instructor for spinning classes, GP referral, Kettlebell Instructor and REPs cer- tified. I am currently developing my skills as an assistant manager, while looking into courses such as sales and marketing.

Twitter: @leisureopps

What advice would you have for school leavers looking to get into the industry? Working within this sort of industry is all about being as confident as possible; a job role within the gym is a fun environment to be in as there is such a good atmosphere which is created. Any school leavers inter- ested in getting into the industry would be advised to be willing to put themselves in at the ‘deep end’ to get as much out of the experience as possible. Also, a sport- ing background and interest will help any school leavers as they will be able to develop and further their knowledge in something they enjoy.

Is working in the leisure industry what you expected? When coming into the leisure industry, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, however it has definitely turned out well. Te main role for everyone working at Fit4less is to inter- act with all the members and provide good customer service which is the best part of the job. I have learnt so much more being in the industry, becoming more confident and I’m still learning as I go along.

What do you think you’ll do once you’ve finished the course? Now that I have passed my Personal Training and Leisure Management course, I would like to go into management within a gym. I would still love to work at Fit4less as I have been there since I started the training, however, I would like to keep learning as an assistant manager until the point when I am ready to become a manager of a gym and I’ll then progress from there.

Read Leisure Opportunities online: 13

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