National conference extends sector support for group exercise instructors 

EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise, is holding a free online conference specifically for group exercise instructors. The conference entitled Helping Instructors Deliver Excellence is scheduled for Wednesday 21st April and will give instructors the opportunity to hear from industry leaders in their field and discover how group exercise is positively impacting the health of the nation.

Throughout the pandemic, EMD UK has provided group exercise instructors with a number of free resources and webinars which have enabled the workforce to still progress their careers whilst in lockdown. Most notably, EMD UK worked closely with the Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), Sport England, and CIMSPA to produce guidance on how group exercise instructors can operate COVID-19 compliant classes. The guidance has now been downloaded and used by over 10,000 instructors across the UK.

The EMD UK conference is an expansion of this support for group exercise instructors. The sessions are aimed at giving instructors insight into the value of group exercise through projects such as This Girl Can, as well as offering tips and guidance on monetising on-demand content, the best tech for classes, and the benefits of becoming a CIMSPA practitioner.

With the effects of Long-COVID now being understood, it’s important that group exercise instructors understand how the condition may affect their class participants. EMD UK have teamed up with training provider CAWS to deliver a session on the effects of COVID-19 and Long-COVID on participants and how group exercise can prepare to help these people train again.

The conference ends with a roundtable discussion on instructor matters with special guest speakers including body positive yoga teacher Donna Noble, fitness presenter Laura Hoggins, group fitness expert Will Brereton, and Sarah Roberts, Head of Fitness for Places Leisure. The panel will be discussing issues facing group exercise instructors, including recognition, qualifications and training, and instructor pay.

Marcus Kingwell, CEO of EMD UK, said “We are delighted to be offering a conference focused solely on the needs and interests of group exercise instructors. As the social value of group exercise is £431 per person, the highest of any physical activity, and the numbers of participants are in their millions, group exercise instructors do a fantastic job. Even during a pandemic, they have gone the extra mile to ensure that their communities stay physically and mentally healthy.

“As an industry, we must recognise the value of these instructors. We must value how they differ to gym instructors and personal trainers, and value the impact they bring to community health. This conference is the first step forward for better instructor recognition, and EMD UK will continue to push group exercise into sport and physical activity campaigns.”

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA and conference speaker, said “With its well-established social and physical benefits, group exercise is one of the most popular and important forms of physical activity, especially amongst women and older people. Group ex instructors are highly professional and valued by their customers, and throughout the pandemic CIMSPA has been proud to work closely with EMD UK, providing guidance and support to the community so they can keep safely delivering classes. I’m delighted to be speaking at this conference, which will give instructors a range of useful insights to help them develop their knowledge and skills, making them an even more valuable part of our sector in the future.”

The EMD UK Helping Instructors Deliver Excellence conference is taking place on Wednesday 21st April from 9.30am-12.30pm. The conference will be streamed for free online by Why Sports Media Group.

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