Fitness Pathway Opens Doors for Matt

College Case Study: Matt Hudson

Fitness Enrichment Pathway 

When Matt joined us at Sheffield United Community College in September 2022, the college initially appealed to Matt as it would give him the opportunity to combine his passion for football with his desire to study a sport-focused post-16 course. However, an unfortunate injury at the start of his course meant he was unable to participate in the football training and matchday programme. Rather than disengaging with the studies, Matt decided to switch to the college’s newly formed fitness enrichment pathway. As the college had grown its student population, the college aimed to broaden the available options for students, which involved exploring alternative pathways catering to a more diverse range of learner needs. 

The fitness enrichment pathway was designed for those who want to develop their understanding around fitness training, improve their own physical fitness or for those who wish to pursue a career within the fitness, health and leisure industry. Students partake in daily fitness sessions, which encompass a range of activities such as weightlifting, running (both speed and endurance training), Cross-fit, testing, and group or individual fitness classes. They also gain an understanding of training principles and how to apply them in designing effective programmes and sessions. To supplement this, pathway students obtain industry accredited qualifications including Fitness Instructor Level 2, Nutrition Level 2, Circuit Training, Kettle Bells Level 2, and Mental Health Awareness.  

In a recent interview, Matt spoke about the impact the pathway has had on him from both a personal and professional view: “I have developed an unforeseen passion for health and fitness which will follow me for the rest of my life. Throughout the fitness programme, I have acquired valuable knowledge on maintaining optimal physical fitness, implementing structured diet plans, and cultivating positive lifestyle habits. The transformative journey resulted in a noticeable improvement in my, health, well-being, and mindset.”

The fitness pathway programme has also opened doors for Matt’s career development. Armed with the qualifications gained from the fitness pathway, he has secured a paid position as a fitness instructor at his local gym, The Arc. In this role, Matt oversees a gym, leads fitness classes, and contributes to the maintenance of the facility. His hands-on experience has given him the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired from the programme’s teachings. 

Looking forward, Matt expresses his ambitious future plans. He aspires to attend university for sport therapy, seeking to gain international experience through placement hours in a different country and build valuable connections through wider networking. Matt’s ultimate goal is to work within either an elite sport setting or the NHS, specialising in rehabilitation or cardiac rehabilitation. 

George Jones, Education Tutor and Fitness Coordinator, was full of compliments for Matt and the impact he has had in such a short space of time. “Matt is the model student and a true role model to his peers. This alternative programme was created for students such as Matt, who has grabbed the opportunity with both hands to help set up his professional career. For a student of his age, it is frightening to see his level of subject knowledge and confidence in his delivery. It’s a shame he will be leaving the college this year, but I am glad we have helped contribute to his inevitable success – he will always be welcomed back!”  

Matt’s story provides an excellent example of what can be achieved through a combination of opportunities provided by the college, in addition to the commitment and dedication shown by a student. For more course information around the Fitness Enrichment Pathway or to explore other programmes available at the college, please click here.