Running personal trainer Anne Chinoy is looking forward to a bright future after scooping the top accolade in a prestigious national fitness trainer awards programme. The 47 year-old from Sale, Manchester, fended off nine finalists from across the UK to win the title of National Winner in the AoC Sport 2020 Fitness Trainer Competition sponsored by Active IQ. The results were announced via a digital online ceremony that was streamed live via YouTube and Twitter last Friday [23 October].

Explaining why Anne stood out from the competition, Head Judge Karen Stanton said: “Anne showed she really knows what her clients want and built a business to answer those needs with every aspect considered. She is an absolute professional and I wish her the best for what is bound to be a very bright future indeed.”

Anne started her personal training business, Run PT, in March 2020, specialising in performance improvement and injury prevention for runners. Having worked from home as a website designer for the last 15 years while her children were growing up, the Sale Harriers runner and mother-of-two was ready for a career change. Anne completed her Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Training and Personal Training at Trafford College and had everything in place to launch her business when lockdown was announced. Read her personal story here.

The competition has been all-consuming for the last six months, as Anne has completed a series of gruelling tasks for assessment by the AoC judging panel. These have included creating a 12-week training plan, shooting a promotional video, leading a live PT session via Zoom and being grilled in ‘mock’ media and recruitment interviews. But although the process has been intense, Anne is convinced that it has enabled her to develop her fledgling business in a direction that is viable even in the current climate.

“Without this competition to keep me focused, I would probably have put everything on hold. Thanks to the competition, I have been inspired to adapt my business to fit with current guidelines, introducing socially distanced outdoor classes and online training plans with Zoom strength & conditioning sessions,” said Anne.

As well as holding regular socially distanced outdoor interval training for small groups, Anne has a growing base of clients who are benefitting from tailored progressive training plans, set via an interactive app and delivered one-to-one via Zoom. She is also in the process of launching a series of Zoom classes for runners, focusing on strength & conditioning and HIIT ‘on the spot’ running drills/plyometrics.