My Career in the Fitness Industry
I joined the British Army in 1986 aged 16 and completed 13 years before leaving in 1999.
I was privileged to travel all over the world: Kenya, Belize, Germany, Canada, Falkland Islands, Denmark, USA and Bosnia. The Army taught me a lot about teamwork, adversity, being able to work under stressful conditions and achieving the highest possible standards in all that you do.
I also participated in many sports: football, rugby, triathlon, athletics and boxing, all at a high level.
During my last year in the Army I completed the YMCA Awards Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training in order to help me set up my Business when discharged. I confess I was absolutely blown away by the quality of teaching and being able to learn in a ‘relaxed environment’ and achieve a vast array of qualifications. I used these to set up my Personal Training business ‘Body and Mind’ which I still run today, 23 years later.
Joining Professional Fitness & Education
These qualifications were completed at the YMCA in London. However, I was eager to know if there was a northern equivalent so the tutors put me in touch with Christine at Northern Fitness & Education (now Professional Fitness & Education). I interviewed and auditioned with a presentation and soon became a tutor and assessor.
For many years I travelled all over the North teaching and assessing a wide variety of courses and modules and would like to think I was respected by fellow tutors and learners.
I completed the YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Matwork Pilates in 2001 with Christine, Cherry and Chris Norris (physio) and absolutely loved it.
Establishing my career as a Modern Pilates Tutor & Assessor
Straight away I started teaching Modern Pilates classes in health clubs in the North East and then started to set up Community based classes which I still run today.
Being an established tutor and assessor already, it was easy for me to start to get involved with the tutoring and assessing of Modern Pilates courses and modules and I have been the senior tutor for the past 10 years or so.
I have been teaching for a number of different Fitness training providers over the past 20 years and there are more details in my ‘Career Portfolio’. (add link)
- Leeds Beckett University
- YMCA Fitness Industry Training
- Lifetime Training
- Origym Centre of Excellence
- Eclipse Training Associates
- Nordic Walking UK
Working for these organisations has given me masses of experience in teaching and learning with a wide range of participants. This has enabled me to develop key skills that help create environments for learning that are comfortable but challenging, with a relaxed atmosphere but still achieving the highest standards. This goes right back to my Army days as a young man when the standard was always the highest.
Everything I’ve achieved in my varied career is guaranteed to enhance the experience of the people I teach – whether in a professional course or class setting.
Never afraid of a challenge I am starting a new phase in my career at the age of 53. An amazing personal life is a foundation for my success – I am married with two lovely girls aged 22 and 19 and we have a cute little Shih Tzu called Oscar!!!
Modern Pilates Leading Pilates Training Provider
Modern Pilates, the company, was originally started by Christine North-Minchella, who has been widely recognised as a leading innovator in the industry. She has been actively involved in fitness and exercise since her teens and made her own passion into her career. This started with the YMCA over 30 years ago when she joined them as a trainee tutor. She has been instrumental in pioneering the development of health, fitness and Pilates training courses in the UK and abroad and is a multiple award-winner in the industry
Renowned Pilates trainer Graeme Baxter who has worked alongside Christine for over 30 years has now taken over the Modern Pilates business. This is a natural step that and means that he will continue Christine’s great work under his own banner.
Fitness and sport have always been a huge part of his life. He trained to become a personal trainer, firstly completing the Diploma in Health and Fitness at London Central YMCA, followed by a Diploma in Matwork Pilates with Modern Pilates. and further modules in Modern Pilates. He was so inspired by the tutors and their professional, friendly approach he was motivated to complete his teaching and assessing qualifications. He is an NVQ TDLB Assessor with a YMCA accreditation in Modern Pilates.
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