As a national governing body, we pride ourselves in our transparency and upholding the highest standards across our work. Below you can find more information about our governance, policies and procedures, and other helpful downloads.


At EMD UK, we want all children and young people to have a positive, safe and enjoyable experience when taking part in group exercise. We also strive to ensure that all staff, teachers and volunteers are clear on what is expected of them when engaging with young people and that best practice is central to all group exercise activities.

Find more on our safeguarding practices and get yourself clued up here.

Equality and Diversity

Equality within EMD UK is all about fairness, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of physical activity and sport to ensure that it becomes equally accessible to all members of society, whatever their age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality or socio-economic status. EMD UK is committed to achieving gender parity and even greater diversity on its Board in order to lead by example when providing equitable guidance and governance to its member organisations.

You can view our Equality and Diversity Policy here.

You can view our EDI strategy here.

Board of directors

Samantha Cullum – EMD UK Chair

Having spent a significant amount of her early career in the health and wellness industry, as Director of Operations for YMCAfit, Operations Director for FitPro, Chair of the Women’s Sports Foundation and as a part of the core team that set up Les Mills UK, Samantha has a solid understanding of the fitness sector.

In the last ten years she has worked with a diverse set of organisations from design, spa and fitness to architecture and PPE; advising Board and Senior Teams; helping them to take their next leap forward and increasingly to support them to develop and deliver a digital strategy, taking products and service online and in-app.

Samantha is CEO and Co-Founder of Upstartr. In that role she has led business set up, integration, expansion and the operational roll out of product and service in the UK, Europe and the US. Most recently to support Carifit with the development of a baby carrier and complimentary parenting wellness app – launched in John Lewis Partners earlier this year and internationally in the Autumn.

Simon Campbell – Senior Independent Director

Simon has been a technologist, and keen sportsperson, since childhood. He has over 25 years of experience in a wide range of technology and business roles, the past 15 of which have been leading technology functions at large listed companies with responsibilities including Technology, Business Systems, Change Management, and Information Security.

An advocate of an active lifestyle, the younger version of Simon played hockey at international level, today he is a runner with a preference for hilly trails and beautiful views.

Pete Fullard – Independent Director

Pete Fullard is the CEO of Upskill People, innovators in the global online learning market since 1995. He helps people get the most from their careers, and businesses get the most from their teams. And he knows that L&D is at its most powerful when outcomes are measured, analysed, and built into actionable plans.

Pete has successfully mentored other businesses, senior teams and business owners – establishing himself as much more than a learning expert. This has also allowed him to work within other like-minded organisations.

Pete has a knack for projecting authority in a way that unites people behind a common goal. This encourages thought-provoking discussions, big revelations, and fresh takes on strategies.

Pete’s goal is to inspire any organisation he works with to operate at its absolute best.

Salah Mirza – Independent Director and Finance and Audit Committee Chair 

Salah is an experienced finance leader and qualified accountant who has led multi-function teams across finance, HR, IT, governance and estates.

He is Director of Finance & Resources at Kings College Hospital Charity, and is a Trustee at the Royal Hospital for Neuro Disability and sits on their Audit Committee.

He is passionate about EMD UK’s mission of helping the nation to become a healthier nation through group exercise.

Paul Szumilewicz – Independent Director and People Champion

Paul has over 20 years’ leadership experience in financial services including banking, wealth management and insurance with his most recent role at C. Hoare & Co as Chief Operations and Customer Officer.

Paul has a diverse range of experience where he was Global Head of Digital Transformation and Agile Deployment at HSBC and previously worked for Lloyds Banking Group. Expert in driving strategic change and accelerating growth, and with deep experience of leading customer and regulatory programmes, he has enjoyed an international career in mature and emerging markets including the UK, Channel Islands, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Lebanon.

Paul sits on the Board of the University of Birmingham Business Advisory Board. He also serves as a non-executive chair of the FA National Futsal Series, and is a member of the United Nations’ Junior Chamber International. A keen runner, he has completed the Polar Circle Marathon and the Desert Marathon in Jordan and, for balance, practises yoga. He is married to Caroline and has two sons.

Lynette Eaborn – Independent Director

Lynette Eaborn, a leisure marketing professional, moved from marketing pubs, hotels and restaurants to developing the Esporta Health Club brand and established the company’s sales and marketing systems, whilst driving new membership sales and retention processes.

Lynette then headed up the marketing for a national leisure management company growing membership and community participation, followed by launching a new spa brand.

Lynette set up her own leisure marketing consultancy offering business development, marketing strategy, digital communications and site feasibility consultancy for clients in the health, fitness, spa, leisure, sports and caravan sectors.

Lynette is a keen walker, class participant, sailor, rower and cyclist.

Born Barikor – Independent Director and Welfare and Safety Champion

Born is the CEO and founder of Our Parks, an initiative that provides free group exercise classes in local community parks. Born is passionate about converting inactive people to regular class goers and has an aim of getting one million people fit for free by 2025.

Born has won a number of awards for his community work, including BT Sport Industry Community Programme of the Year in 2017 and a Black British Business Award in 2019.

Sarah Durnford – Independent Director and EDI champion

Sarah Durnford is the Instructor Experience Development Director at Les Mills UK. Sarah is passionate about creating gold standard education for group exercise instructors and ensuring fitness professionals feel supported in their careers. As an ex-trainer and fitness presenter, Sarah knows the challenges, highs and lows that instructors face.

Gill Cummings-Bell – CEO of EMD UK

Gill Cummings-Bell is director of training provider, Drummond Education. Gill has been a group exercise teacher for over 40 years and has provided education for hundreds of fitness professionals. Gill has considerable skills in the fitness sector, including class development, strategic management, quality assurance, and planning and development.

Gill consults and presents both nationally and internationally, presenting workshops on education and health related topics around the world.

Complaints Procedure

As the national governing body for group exercise, we strive to give every instructor and customer the best service possible.

You can view our complaints procedure here.