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Our news update from the week…


Dedicated cancer gym becomes CIMSPA partner

CU Fitter, the gym dedicated to people with cancer, has had its Award in Applied Delivery of Cancer Exercise endorsed by CIMSPA. The certification enables personal trainers or clinical exercise practitioners to complete a course of study leading to an award based on the applied study of cancer-specific exercise.

Jan Sheward of Cancer United and CU Fitter says, “The four-day intensive course is the chance to learn the skills and competencies required to deliver our cancer-specific exercise programme. We have worked with exercise scientists and clinicians to develop a unique Level 4 training programme for fitness professionals and we are a CIMSPA training development partner. We also have a Register of Cancer Survivorship Professionals accreditation. Our aim is to train as many people as we can to develop the specialist skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to set up CU Fitter initiatives of their own to improve access to exercise for cancer patients.”

The course teaches delegates about cancer symptoms and causes, treatments and palliative care, and is delivered by clinicians such as oncologists and cancer nurses. Delegates also work directly with cancer patients to create their own class content.

Sheward continues, “At CU Fitter, we help people from diagnosis onwards and the classes are cancer specific as every cancer is different. Our trainers are specially trained to understand all types, their treatments and side effects, and also the psychosocial aspects of cancer. We rely on clinicians to refer patients to us, so we have to ensure our trainers are competent to work with cancer patients. All patients have to be rigorously assessed before they start exercising with us and this is a specialist process in itself.”

Keith, who has been working out at CU Fitter for nine months, adds, “Last year, I was diagnosed with high-grade, very aggressive prostate cancer and given limited future prospects. A few months after that diagnosis, I was told about Cancer United … the aim was to fight cancer with fitness. I have now been told by my consultant that I am in remission and to keep exercising as my fitness levels are helping me respond better to the treatment.”


One in three exercise professionals consider leaving the sector

A new research report from ukactive and Lifetime Training will be presented at the Active Training Conference on 30 November. The report is expected to reveal that one third of exercise professionals are considering – or have considered – leaving the physical activity sector. It will also reveal that 45% of exercise professionals who left the physical activity sector moved to work in another industry and the reasons most often cited for leaving were lack of clear career progression, unmet expectations of the job role, workplace culture, and few training and development opportunities.
The unveiling of the report, which explores the limitations to staff retention and how physical activity companies can create supportive environments to attract and retain top talent, will be part of wider discussions at the conference that will focus on developing a roadmap to transform the workforce. The day will also explore how better development programmes and clearer career paths can reduce staff turnover and help the physical activity sector to become a frontline health delivery partner.
Steven Ward, CEO of ukactive, says, “This report marks an important chapter in this journey, asking what more we can do to keep the brightest and best within our sector – helping to create a truly world-class workforce.”

Matt Robinson, operations director – active leisure, Lifetime Training, adds, “The past three years have seen a real shift in focus with the onset of new products and technology. However, things are coming full circle and people have become paramount once again. The key to a successful business strategy is the people who interact with customers day in, day out.”
He continues, “A realisation has set in with business owners that we need strong customer service and the right people equipped with the right skills to drive change and better business performance. Developing and keeping these people is critical, particularly with the increased investment in the skills agenda brought about by the apprenticeship levy and the sector’s backing of CIMSPA to progress a proper model of occupational development.”


Social post of the week: mums-to-be train together

Over on Facebook and Twitter, our followers became engaged with a news story centred on a designated studio opening in New York for pregnant women to work out together.

Recently launched in the SoHo area of New York, classes at FPC are said to comprise of fast-paced movements and challenging lunges. FPC co-founder, Carolina Gunnarsson, told fastcompany.com1 that, at the new studio, “women are open” and “it’s a safe zone”. Inspiration for the mum-only studio grew from Gunnarsson’s frustration with the fitness options available for pregnant women. Instructors at FPC are certified in pre-natal fitness and are also either doulas or lactation experts. The two founders became concerned with the number of pregnant women who were constantly given a modification for an exercise and the team were also concerned about the over-cautious nature of trainer teaching and delivery. The duo claim they didn’t feel safe with putting themselves with trainers who simply “didn’t know” how to accommodate them.

What did you make of the story? Have you encountered a bad experience with a trainer when you were pregnant? Get in touch: