Annette Cowling – Success Story

Why did you choose the course you did?

The Diploma in Exercise Referral is a pre-requisite for my future plans in exercise teaching.

Why did you choose HFE to deliver your training?

The pricing is very competitive and the course location was convenient.

What is your background with exercise and fitness training?

I’ve always been an active person and have taken part in many different activities such as swimming, horse riding, skiing, badminton, netball, aerobics, rebounding, circuit training and athletics. In the late 1980s I started training as a competitive weightlifter but any aspirations in that field were abruptly cut short when I broke my right thumb badly in a fall on a ski slope. Undeterred by the injury, I switched my attention to weight training for fitness and also learned about the benefits of CV training and flexibility. In addition to my own training, I developed a passion for teaching exercise to others and attained the BAWLA Leader and Instructor awards in 1988 and 1989 respectively, teaching informally in gyms while working full time in an office. I have always maintained a high level of physical fitness and consider it vital for a good quality of life. In 2005 I left the office to retrain as a personal trainer and have chosen to specialise in working with older adults and younger people with medical conditions. I also hold a Level 5 diploma in remedial massage and have much experience in event work.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The practical weekend. Fantastic tutors, a fascinating subject and a friendly group of like-minded exercise professionals in London, the best city in the world.

What did you find most challenging about your course?

The Professional Practice worksheet was a bit hard-going at times, but it’s essential background information so I just got on with it. I’m almost finished.

How would you rate the quality of teaching provided by your course tutors?

Ben and Philippa were excellent tutors and delivered the course material in a friendly, informal way.

To what extent did you feel supported during the home-study phase of your course?

I have not made as much use of the support as I might have but have always felt sure that help was at hand if I should need it. On the occasions that I have contacted Martyn, he replied promptly with the information I required.

How would you rate the teaching and learning materials provided to you?

Excellent. The course manual was well presented and easy to follow.

What is your current role?

I currently work in adult day services with older people of 65 years and above. Most of our service users have a disability of some kind, mainly physical or sensory, though we are now taking many more referrals from people with varying degrees of dementia. Teaching exercise is part of my role. In addition to my general personal trainer qualification I hold specialist qualifications in chair-based exercise for the frailer older adult and adapting exercise for the independently active older adult. I have recently attended an introductory workshop in physical activity and exercise for people living with dementia.

What are your future training and career plans?

In the near future I wish to move on from my current role and work more closely with referred clients. I hope to gain Level 4 qualifications in falls prevention, cardiac rehabilitation and exercise following stroke.

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