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Jamie Matthews
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City of Bristol College personal trainer sees success in dream job

Former Personal Training student, Jamie Matthews, is enjoying helping to ‘change people’s lives’ at Hengrove Leisure Centre after succeeding at City of Bristol College and overcoming his learning difficulties and own body image struggles.

The 19-year-old personal trainer studied Personal Training Level 2 and 3 at the College and left in June last year to start his career at the leisure centre, which sits on the same estate as the College’s South Bristol Skills Academy and future Advanced Construction Skills Centre.

He said: “I was around 15 years old when I decided I wanted to do something I loved doing as a career. Originally, I was going to become a plumber or scaffolder as that was where the money was.

“In my last year of school, I decided I wanted to become a personal trainer and it was the best decision I could have possibly taken, it gave me a lot of perspective in my life. As a kid I was quite overweight and while I was still loving life, I still wasn’t happy. But I got more into weightlifting and body building and I started researching into it and I have loved it ever since.”

Jamie had to work hard to overcome his dyslexia and learning difficulties as he tackled good days and bad but perseverance and dedication helped him to succeed in both his Level 2 and 3 course and is now working as a personal trainer and instructor at a gym ‘he loves going to every single day’.

While Jamie’s time at the College had ended, he still had a long way to go be at the top of his game. He said: “You want to start with the basics first. In my mind I am still a rookie and still learning. In every trade you have to learn the tricks of the trade before becoming a master – you have to be a Padawan before becoming a Jedi.”

Jamie continues to improve his education by researching and reading books on his chosen topic. He described fitness as ‘fascinating’ after he showed a keen interest for science, especially biology, while at school.

Throughout his time at the College, Jamie was provided with ‘absolutely brilliant’ support from his teachers which he ‘could not fault’.

He said: “Studying Personal Training at the City of Bristol College is 110% the best thing you can ever do to invest in your future. If you love training and especially if you want to share your knowledge with other people then get into the personal training business.

“You can interact with a lot of people and you can change people’s lives – it isn’t so much about how much money it brings in but also if you can change someone’s life in a short amount of time then they feel so rewarded and grateful that you have taken the time to work with them to change their perspective on life.” To find out more about the College’s personal training courses, visit www.cityofbristol.ac.uk/courses/