TGt Meets… Gemma McKay Thorley
We spoke to Gemma McKay Thorley, course leader and lecturer for the Fitness Professional’s course at New College, about her role and her plans for the future!
Tell us a little bit about your role at New College.
I am course leader and lecturer for the Fitness Professional’s qualification. The qualifications awarding body is Active IQ.
How long have you been a Lecturer and how did you get started?
I have been a lecturer for 6 years. I completed my Level 5 DTTLS qualification at New College in 2010. Whilst studying for my teaching qualification I offered to do some volunteer teaching here at the college and was eventually employed as an Academic Instructor. Within this role I was able to do some teaching cover and gain experience. After 2 years I was employed as a lecturer in Sport.
Describe New College's Fitness Professionals course in 3 words…
Opportunistic, Fun, Innovative
Do you have a motto or favourite motivational quote?
‘Fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life’
What are your tips for people trying to get into the fitness industry?
Gain experience in their own training by going to the gym regularly and taking part in a variety of exercise sessions/ classes. Read about developments in training/ nutrition. Follow a healthy balanced lifestyle yourself. Know what skills and qualities you will need to develop to work with a variety of clients (approachable, good communicator, friendly, enthusiastic, be willing to help people).
What can prospective students expect from the Fitness Professional Study Programme at New College?
A range theory and practical sessions to help them develop the knowledge and skills to teach clients safe and effective exercise. They will achieve a wide range of qualifications throughout the course, making them highly employable in the industry once achieved. Learners will be expected to teach exercise to groups or individuals on a regular basis and always be ready to take part in exercise themselves.
Which one fitness tip do you swear by?
Include resistance exercise in your weekly workout routine.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing the learners enjoy what they are doing and developing their confidence and ability throughout the course.
Seeing learners in employment in the industry with a good client base
What do your students take away from the course?
A professional Level 3 qualification in Personal Training and Sports Massage Therapy which makes them highly employable in the industry.
What are your plans for the future?
To expand the Fitness Professionals course at New College so that we have a strong recruitment each year. I want to continue to improve the course, offering more opportunities and experience to the learners.
To find out more about the New College's Fitness Professionals course click here.