Meet Our Team

Meet the team driving positive sector change at EMD UK. Everyone has a huge role to play so find out who we all are.

Our leadership team

Gill Cummings-Bell


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Gill Cummings-Bell is the CEO of EMD UK. 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.

Shelley Meyern

Chief Operating Officer

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With over 20 years of physical activity and sports development experience, Shelley has been a key member of the EMD UK Senior Leadership team since 2019. As EMD UK’s Chief Operating Officer, she has taken a strategic lead for several key work strands including our system partner relationship with Sport England.

Shelley graduated from Brighton University with a BA Hons in Leisure and Sports Studies and in 2014 was one of the first graduates of the Women’s Sports Leadership Academy. She was COO for a social enterprise supporting young people into work through sport and fitness programmes.

A qualified group exercise instructor and running coach, she established a running club and ran the London and Loch Ness Marathons.

Alex Martin

Head of Marketing and Comms

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Alex’s background is in sales and marketing enabling him to lead marketing and communications teams both commercially and in the charitable/not for profit sector. He has worked across a variety of sectors, most recently within education, but is new to the health and fitness sector.

With a passion for sports and fitness Alex is looking forward to learning more about group exercise and helping to support those who keep our communities healthy.

Sue Wilkie

Head of Workforce

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Sue has over 30 years’ experience in the fitness industry as a group ex Instructor, PT and International Fitness presenter, developing programming and education in the UK and for American brands including TRX, TriggerPoint, BOSU, Stroop’s and Total Gym.

Sue has worked for Physical Company as Education Co-ordinator which led to her working on her own consultancy business developing programming for LA Fitness, with their launch of LA Primal Nationwide and latterly with Everyone Actives EA Series.

Samir Patel

Finance Controller

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Coming soon!

Our projects team

Kate Dawe

Project Support Officer

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Kate graduated with a First Class BA (hons) Criminology degree and has worked for Leicestershire Police, Coventry City Council, and Victim & Witness Support, but it was her move into personal training and group instructing that she found her passion.

A mum of two boys, Kate has always been active but understands the pressures and barriers that women face when being exercising, and aims to help them to focus on what their bodies can achieve.

A keen lifter, Kate has also completed a number of ultra marathons but firmly says never again, preferring to focus on lifting heavy things in between trying to learn French and ferrying her kids to wheelchair basketball and rugby training.

Our content team

Islay Van der Merwe

E-Learning Content Manager

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Islay is currently based near Stonehenge, with her husband and two young boys. Islay has been a group exercise instructor for over 18 years, teaching Pilates and a variety of Les Mills programmes. She is also a Trainer, Presenter and Assessor for Les Mills UK.

In the past, Islay has spent time in various different roles within clubs (large operators, small independents and local authority), as well as teaching within the community. She was previously Instructor Development Manager for Les Mills UK, overseeing the training, on-going education, assessing and quality assurance processes there.

Islay is really keen to support instructors, in any discipline, to be the best that they can be so that they feel supported and confident, and can then provide an even better experience for their participants. Being a group exercise instructor can sometimes feel like a lonely role so it is Islay’s hope that, by working on expanding EMD UK’s offering of Learning and Education and how they support the industry, we can help to create more of a community for our instructors.

Islay has a big interest in women’s health, advocating for more conversations and better support within this area, and outside of work, she enjoys camping, skiing and scuba-diving, as well as reading and cooking.

Kat Mummery

Research and Insight Manager

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Kat graduated with a First BA (Hons) in Sports Management and Coaching Studies and is a qualified PRINCE2 project manager. Work placements include a local authority sports development team and the Football Foundation, plus volunteering for the FA’s Respect Programme and London 2012.

Kat has worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years – from Freedom Leisure as a Community Sports Development Officer to Area Sports Development Manager and sat on the local Active Partnerships project board. Kat is a qualified athletics, tennis and handball coach and runner, completing the London Marathon twice. Her passion is supporting people to become more active.

Chloe Greer

Instructor Support Officer

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Chloe attended ballet classes from the age of three and quickly developed a love of dance. She studied for a BA (Hons) in Dance Performance at Falmouth University, graduating in 2015. During that time, she pursued many opportunities, particularly in teaching, as she wanted to share her passion for dance.

In 2014, Chloe qualified with EMD UK as both a Just Jhoom! and Exercise to Music Instructor. She has continued her work as a dance teacher and fitness instructor but is also enjoying her role as Instructor Support Officer. Outside of work Chloe loves to bake and regularly brings new recipes into the office for her colleagues to try.

Danica Armstrong

Instructor Support Officer

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Danica has worked in sales for the last 6 years, and was previously at university and travelling the east coast of Australia. On her return from Australia, she started at executive level and moved into a sales account management role before moving onto account management with a field marketing agency.

Danica is now utilising these skills from a sales and marketing perspective, in her role at EMD UK. Danica graduated in Film and TV Studies, so out of work she enjoys all things related to her degree and will often be talking about some kind of TV series or, failing that, about cats. She also enjoys baking, so fits in well with the team.

Carrie Hill

Account Manager

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Carrie has been working in the fitness industry for eleven years and continues to teach Barre and Pilates classes in health clubs and in the community.

Before joining EMD UK, Carrie was dual group exercise manager across two Virgin Active clubs, delivering the Barre training programme nationally. Carrie’s spare time is spent popping into other group ex classes, running or watching her sons play football.

Cheryl Liversuch

Quality Assurance and Compliance Officer

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Cheryl has dedicated over 20 years to the fitness industry, excelling in roles such as general manager, studio coordinator, and personal trainer. Cheryl has taught a wide range of group exercise classes and briefly ran her own community class company. About 10 years ago, Cheryl transitioned into teaching and assessing fitness education and sports science, recently adding internal quality assurance to her repertoire.

A former cruise ship crew member, she loves traveling and exploring new places. Cheryl balances her professional life with her passion for cooking, enjoying time with her large family.

Our HR and finance team

Sarah Partington

People Manager

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Sarah’s love of movement began at a young age with ballet and dance classes, eventually leading to vocational training at Bird College. Although she left professional performing, her interest in physical health stayed and, following some sales and marketing roles, Sarah decided to move into a career as a fitness instructor specialising in Barre and ballet-based fitness styles. Wanting to change mindsets for the better, she opened her own studio and Barre fitness programme – Pose Barre. The community of Pose Barre continues while Sarah takes the time to support more teachers in her role with EMD UK.

Amanda Webb


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Amanda has over 10 years’ experience working in finance, including the management of budgets for a local government organisation and a children’s day nursery. The last two years have involved managing her own bookkeeping business working with clients in a variety of different trades.

In 2019, Amanda was instrumental in the set up of Ifield Mill Pond parkrun in Crawley and she is often found volunteering there on a Saturday morning, often as the run director or timekeeper.

Amanda enjoys listening and dancing to 80’s music.

Our marketing and membership team

Sarah Leeves

Marketing Manager

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Sarah has worked in the fitness sector for nearly 20 years. Her career sport and physical activity started in junior activities and sports development at Places Leisure where she implemented a variety of projects to get local schools active through sport, exercise and dance.

Sarah graduated Birkbeck, University of London in 2015 with a first-class honours degree in Film and Media Studies. She joined EMD UK in May 2015 and has led our marketing and brand work. She has written for both national and trade magazines. Sarah has a passion for sports and outside of work plays rugby and enjoys CrossFit.

Jo Ramachandran

Marketing Executive

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Jo studied PR & Comms in Southampton and has worked in the fashion PR industry, aviation sector developing partnerships with luxury lifestyle brands and entertainment PR and Communications. Clients included Peter Andre and Millie Mackintosh. Jo has always loved swimming and dancing and tries to do both each week.

Jo runs a street dance school six days a week, with her partner, for children/teens, helping to build a brand that is cool and current with the London dance scene. They have supported Flawless, Diversity and Kele Le Roc among other. In her minimal spare time Jo likes watching TV, being outdoors or playing with her little boy.

Cristian Fry

Marketing Executive

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With a strong background in health and fitness marketing and a degree in BA (Hons) English & Media, Cristian is thrilled to be a part of the EMD UK team.

Cristian enjoys balancing gym workouts with calming yoga and meditation sessions, always striving for personal and professional growth. His own journey with coeliac disease ignited a passion for the gluten-free lifestyle and a strong desire to support others. Cristian is eager to channel his knowledge and enthusiasm into making a positive impact at EMD UK.

Toni Williams

Marketing Executive

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Toni has worked in marketing for 5 years now after finding a passion for all things marketing and social while studying Media and Popular Culture at Huddersfield University.  

Toni has been always personally enjoyed sports and fitness but has been on a real journey with it this year. She enjoys walking her dog, doing a range of workouts and finishing getting her steps in on her treadmill.  

Toni is keen to get stuck in with working with EMD UKs social media channels and emails, building up our audience base and increasing engagement. 

Sarah Smith

Instructor Support Officer

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Before joining EMD UK, Sarah previously spent 15 years with American Express Membership Travel, working in a sales and customer service-based role before joining their project team. Following that, she set up an online childrenswear store, which she ran for 4 years before moving into a new retail role.

Sarah has a real passion for fitness, loves a HIIT workout and has now run a few 10Ks! She enjoys cooking and creating new recipes, and loves spending time with her two boys, family and friends.

Lianne Barlow

Instructor Support Officer

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Lianne has worked for EMD UK for over 10 years, she started as a temp for 3 months and has stayed here ever since. In her role, Lianne supports EMD UK’s Founder Partners – Keep Fit Association, Medau Movement and FLexercise – administering all teachers’ and members’ memberships, resolving queries and generally doing a great job of looking after them all!

Outside of work, Lianne works for Princess Pony Parties and loves spending time with her family. At weekends through the winter months Lianne supports the Guildford Flames ice hockey team. She is also a huge Disney fan and has travelled to many places as she loves going on holiday, especially when it is Disney-related!