Anna Morgan - Fitness Team Spotlight
Over the last year, Anna, a 3rd year Sport, Physical and Activity and Health Promotion picked up valuable experience by becoming a student member of our Brookes Sport, Fitness Team.
What started as only teaching a couple of classes a week around her studies, transitioned into covering a wide variety of classes and picking up some 1:1 clients and setting her up perfectly for her future career.
“At Brookes Sport we aim to provide the skills and opportunity to Oxford Brookes student undergraduates who are Level 2 Gym and Level 3 qualified personal trainers. This can range from shadowing some of our experienced instructors, teaching various fitness classes, running small group-based PT sessions on the gym floor and learning how to set up your own PT business whilst gaining experience in training clients and programming. Anna was able to gain experience in all of the above and it is really pleasing to see our students develop, learn and progress in the fitness industry.”
- Richard Ormiston-Rees, Brookes Sport, Fitness and Wellness Sport Manager.
We caught up with Anna just after she finished her degree to find out more about her experience over the past 12 months.
What is your background in sport/physical activity and why are you interested in working in sport?
I was brought up in a very sporty household, so growing up I was a part of many sports teams and clubs both in and outside of school. I have enjoyed running from a young age and have recently just run my first marathon. I was a competitive trampolinist for 11 years up until the pandemic in March 2020. Trampolining was my gateway into the world of S&C, where I had weekly sessions as part of my training. As a result, that gave me the knowledge and confidence to do my own gym sessions in my own time and that’s where my enjoyment and passion for weightlifting originated from.
Prior to your experience with Brookes Sport, did you have any qualifications or other experiences and what qualifications have you gained over the last year?
Prior to my experience with Brookes Sport, I was a qualified trampoline judge. In June 2022 I was awarded my Level 3 ‘Personal Training and Fitness Instructor’ qualification alongside ‘Health Navigator’ and ‘Working with people with long-term health conditions’ qualifications, which were all awarded via CIMSPA through my undergrad course. In December 2022, I also became a qualified indoor cycle instructor through Keiser.
Can you explain a little bit about the experience you have had with Brookes Sport?
To put it simply, my experience at Brookes Sport has been amazing! When I received my level 3 qualification last year I wanted a part-time job in a gym to gain some experience to accompany my final year at uni. I reached out to a few gyms on a whim, Brookes being one of them, which led me to be asked to come in for an interview. It was here that I was introduced to Richard, who was really positive and helpful and together we arranged the classes I could teach and I got straight into it.
It was nerve-wracking to start as it was my first experience in the role, but I was supported the entire way through by Richard and I felt comfortable asking anything, from any concerns I had about classes to how to do an invoice! It was very much a learn-as-you-go experience, which worked perfectly for me.
As I was a full-time student, I chose to only teach a couple of classes a week which was great as they never interfered with uni work. It also gave me real-world experience which tied in nicely with what I was learning in my degree.
During my classes, I was very pleased to develop a great community amongst the participants, especially the women who came to Group PT on a Monday morning. After a few months, I began taking on some of my own clients, which was exciting and again Richard guided me through the initial process of this, which was really helpful. I also covered an array of classes which broadened my skill set massively, especially as it was quite nerve-wracking teaching a new class for the first time but it always left me with a great sense of achievement. Overall, I had a fantastic experience where I was given the freedom to be independent but always had a helping hand if I needed it.
What have you learnt most?
So many things! This job has taught me so many skills that I can carry into my future career and in life in general. I’ve learned the value and importance of confidence, being confident in my teaching and myself when teaching others, whether that be a 1-1 session or a group of 40 people. I’ve gained a greater understanding of the importance of communication, literally how to make small talk - that’s vital! How to make people feel comfortable, helping them feel empowered, knowledgeable, and confident in a gym setting. I’ve also improved my time efficiency and organizational skills, as I have had people rely on me for gym sessions and programmes. Overall, a load of real-world skills that I can apply to my life forever.
Would you recommend your experience to other Oxford Brookes students looking to have a career in sport?
Absolutely! I strongly recommend this experience to anyone who is doing sports, coaching or a health degree and wants to go on to work with people in any sport or health setting. It’s a supported experience which builds up your CV, but most importantly just gives you experience of working with lots of individuals of all ages and abilities. I am so glad I was able to do this before finishing my degree, so if you get the opportunity, without a doubt take it!
We are always keen to support our students to help them prepare for life beyond university. If working in our fitness team alongside your studies interests you, please reach out to Richard, our Fitness and Wellness, Sport Manager to arrange an informal interview (firstname.lastname@example.org).