Pilates and Fitness Instructor
“My goal is to improve the offer of health and well-being services to ‘blue light’ and emergency services with the ultimate aim of running a bespoke 24-hour gym in a hospital setting specifically for medical staff.”
Business Website: The David Ellis Charity
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I served as an officer in the Royal Navy and currently work as a Sports & Uniformed Services Lecturer in a Further Education College on the South Coast of England.
I qualified as a Pilates Instructor through the Armed Forces Enhance Learning Credit (ELC) scheme with Future Fit.
Alongside my full-time role in physical education, I run a charity that delivers health and well-being to Armed Forces veterans and families; we recently increased our support network to include NHS and healthcare staff in light of their exceptional service during the COVID pandemic and the increasing demands on the National Health Service.
I deliver a variety of different fitness volunteer-led fitness classes in three towns along the Dorset Coast. The classes include mat-based Pilates, circuit training and other instructor-led classes that are part-funded by sponsors, fundraising events and charitable grants. The aim is to enable professional healthcare staff to exercise between unpredictable shift patterns and help the workforce build physical and mental resilience.
Take Continuous Professional Development seriously. It is important for me because it has helped me to become more creative and it enables me to deliver a variety of classes - offering something new and exciting keeps my clients interested.Nick Harper
Throughout my military career, physical development has been a passion of mine and a necessity for me to fulfil a number of specialist roles undertaken throughout my career. Arduous courses required me to have a particularly high level of physical strength and fitness. I qualified as Navy Ships Diver early in my Naval career and later completed Commando training at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone. These courses require a high level of in-water fitness as well as upper-body strength and cardiovascular endurance.
I retired from military service after a twenty-seven-year career and initially retrained as a computer science teacher, but I yearned for a more physically active teaching environment. So, I jumped ship from a PGCE degree course and completed a Level 5 Certificate in Education to pursue a career in sports.
It is essential to have passion for the subject I teach, and fitness has always been at the centre of everything I do at home and at work. I believe that setting an example to my students and my clients is important so I constantly maintain a high standard of personal physical fitness. Having a good knowledge and heaps of enthusiasm for the subjects I teach and the fitness classes I deliver is vital for me to build a strong professional reputation.
The Enhanced Learning Credit scheme enables higher level learning of nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above (or approved international equivalent) with an approved Learning Provider for Armed Forces service personnel and service leavers. Future Fit is a member of the ELC scheme and they came highly recommended as a trusted provider. I completed the Level 3 Mat-Based Pilates course with Future Fit and I am in the process of completing my Level 4 Pilates Teacher portfolio.
I was surprised at the low number of men who want to train as Pilates instructors but I really enjoyed the face-to-face workshops. The teachers had bags of enthusiasm and were very knowledgeable.
I am most proud of the feedback I receive from the exercise community I have built among the armed forces veterans and the healthcare community. Members of the local Dorset veterans and health community have walked and run carrying heavy packs ascending thousands of feet and rowed hundreds of kilometres to raise money to support our charity health and wellbeing projects.
There have been some individual successes; we have had first-place winners, fundraiser-of-the-year nominations and personal triumphs. Prosthetic limbs, brain injuries, and mental health conditions are only a few of the personal challenges overcome by my clients, and they have all achieved unimaginable personal goals.
I travelled to many countries during my military career. Italy was the country I visited the most. I also worked for several months in Sicily, so I especially love Italian food. I enjoy cooking pasta dishes, although an Italian salad (not cooked, of course) with cured hams, olive oil, pine nuts, olives etc has some interesting and exciting flavours.
Take Continuous Professional Development seriously. It is important for me because it has helped me to become more creative and it enables me to deliver a variety of classes – offering something new and exciting keeps my clients interested. Building a portfolio of different styles allows classes to be unique and innovative, particularly in an area where the sector is highly competitive. I want my clients to have something to talk about and compare different exercise styles with their friends and colleagues, so I capture photos and videos and upload them to social media so that they have a record of their activity.
Social media is a valuable tool, and embedding regular videos allows my clients to monitor and compare their progress.
Consider creating your website, we made our own which was a fun project, and it helps to develop your professional profile. Having full access and admin rights to your website’s dashboard allows you to update your web pages in seconds, and it is simpler than social media for clients and sector organisations to find important information about your business.
If Future Fit had not been a member of the Enhanced Learning Credit scheme I might have overlooked them, but I found them easy to find and they appealed to me as a credible and trustworthy learning provider. I have recommended their courses to my colleagues. I really like the Pilates instructor’s teaching techniques, I have taken their ideas and applied them to my own style of delivery which has worked well for me.
Sardinia – One of the five ‘Blue Zones’ regions where people statistically live the longest. The ratio of male living centenarians is equal to females on a 1:1 ratio, which is different to most countries around the world. The local wine is rich in antioxidants, and the food is mainly beans, greens and whole grains. They also eat a lot of bread and cheese. The steep, mountainous landscape provides regular low-intensity and medium-intensity exercise as people tend not to drive and walk for the most part.
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