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AoC Sport became part of The Skills Show for the first time last week, where a record-breaking 100,000 people were in attendance over three days to see AoC demonstrate the World Skills UK Fitness Trainer Competition.

The event, at Birmingham’s NEC, will be the venue for the 2016 finals of the Fitness Trainer Competition, the only active leisure skills competition in the UK for students working towards careers in the sport and leisure industry.

The Skills Show ran from Thursday to Saturday with secondary school pupils, college students, college principals and industry professionals all in attendance at the nation’s largest skills and careers event. Alongside the Fitness Trainer Competition demonstration were competitions in butchery, floristry, forensic science, plumbing and landscape gardening and more than 50 other vocational skills.

AoC Sport’s stand included a very popular ‘catch the lights’ game, as well as personal training demonstrations from Angharad Hayes (highly commended Level 3 Personal Trainer at the 2015 Fitness Trainer Competition) and Jack Burbank (2015 Level 2 Gym Instructor winner) across the three days.

Angharad said: “The Skills Show was an excellent opportunity to raise my profile and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In between the sessions, I engaged with students, answering their questions and advising them regarding a career as a successful PT and how the competition could enhance that.

“It was a pleasure enthusing young people about something I’m very passionate about.”

Active IQ is sponsoring the Level 3 Personal Trainer category in 2016 and AoC Sport is also seeking other commercial partners from the sport, leisure and fitness industries to help develop the Fitness Trainer Competition over the next 12 months.

The 2016 event will be the fourth year of the Fitness Trainer Competition, which incorporates both Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer categories.

The first round of this year’s competition will begin in January, with students taking part within their institutions. The competitors then sit a theoretical online assessment and have to submit a video of their talent. The highest scorers will then progress to a regional heat, before a national level and the grand final at the World Skills UK Competition Finals at next year’s Skills Show.

“The competitors would need to raise their game knowing that they will be viewed by 100,000 people in addition to the judges,’ Angharad said.

“Not only will they be representing themselves but also the college and the qualification. This competition will deliver high quality PTs for the future, and to be associated with this would be a massive achievement for the competitors.”