fibodo: What got you into fitness and importantly, PT?
Louise: Keeping fit was always a passion of mine especially in endurance sports, and although I never worked in the industry, my working circumstances changed and I moved from London to Cornwall.
I kept on my consultancy business within the international charity sector, but with the move, I felt like I wanted to try something new. Cornwall is a beautiful area with a real sense of community, so I decided to risk it, follow my passion and take a course in Personal Training.
fibodo: Why did you choose to go to college instead of a private training provider?
Louise: I reviewed the courses offered by private training providers in comparison to Cornwall College, and felt as someone that learns from seeing and practicing, going to college would suit my learning style. I like being in groups trying different things so the two day week offered by the college meant I got full, hands on experience while I was learning.
In retrospect, I can’t thank the tutors enough – they were so supportive of me throughout my college experience, and they were great at offering bolt on training which meant I got a blended understanding of various environments including gym, studio exercise, and outdoors.
fibodo: Who put you forward for the competition and why?
Louise: My tutor was Claire Atterbury, and she was keen to raise awareness of the competition due to her prior experience as a judge. Claire encouraged me to apply, which was pretty daunting given that I have two children and was still running my consulting business.
Nonetheless she persisted and encouraged me to take the plunge – and I’m so glad I did.
fibodo: Was the competition a positive experience?
Louise: Let’s be clear – the application and competition process is tough going and takes commitment, but the confidence and expertise I have gained throughout has made it so worth the effort. I’m still buzzing from the experience and all of my current clients have been so supportive of my win.
I feel like the competition has absolutely confirmed that I made the right decision to pursue fitness as a career. One thing I would say about the competition is that it’s a package so much opportunity associated with it – especially for those in the final. AoC Sport and the World Skills competition team work hard to connect finalists and applicants to their network of partners which gives all of us competing the opportunity to either gain employment – like some of the past finalists – or to have the right network to support us in growing our own businesses.
fibodo: What did it feel like to win?
Louise: Exciting! The medal presentation ceremony was so big that I felt almost like a rock star. I feel such overwhelming gratitude for the support of friends and family and the encouragement I received from the team at Cornwall College, and would promote the competition to everyone. During the final, there was such a variation of tasks that it felt rigorous, but very fair as the assessment criteria is made available to all competitors so you can review and plan your PT session and do some prep for the tasks, meaning the process of winning felt justified as we all started on a level playing field.
fibodo: What are your aspirations for your fitness business?
Louise: I love the combination of individual PT and group sessions so I’m splitting my time accordingly with a view to expanding my group training offering – into Ante and Post Natal. According to REPs, only 5.5% of qualified PTs go on to take an additional qualification in Ante/Post Natal, and as a mum myself, I recognise the importance of these classes in helping new mums get back to their desired physique and feel healthy. More than that, classes significantly help with confidence and stress management as they provide a brief relief from full time parenting! It’s my goal to help new mums build confidence in both body and mind.
Louise is being supported by fibodo post-win to help gain traction with her business by taking online bookings and growing her client network organically. You can see and book using her newly created profile here: www.fibodo.com/elementalfitnesscornwall