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UK Coaching Team
Self-care and development

From Sussex to Sydney: Taking A Fitness Career Abroad

Have you ever considered plying your trade abroad? Using your knowledge and experience of the fitness industry to drive an international move? Qualified Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral Specialist Chris Chatfield tells his story of doing exactly that, emphasising the benefits of portability

Qualified Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral Specialist Chris Chatfield, made the move from Sussex to Sydney in July 2019. He can't recommend the adventure enough.

As a member of the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPS), UK-born Chris, who had previously worked in Australia outside of the fitness industry, decided the time was right in July 2019 to return to Australia and continue his progression within the world of fitness. He had become a personal trainer in 2017 in the UK.

“I’m enormously passionate about helping people feel healthier and happier about themselves and decided to put my life’s fitness (and injury) experiences to good use for both me and for others,” says Chris, when talking of his decision to move into the fitness industry.

Where did Chris’ story begin?

Throughout my life I’ve been involved with fitness – surfing every week, playing football and rugby, and competing at a state level as a sprinter and hurdler,” Chris explains.

He then moved into the world of personal training.

“I did my PT qualifications with the YMCA at Brighton Uni, tutored by the inspirational Trevor Clarke. I was then lucky enough to get a role as a PT in a Wave Leisure gym in East Sussex.”

What was it like?

“They really look after their trainers, paying an actual salary and removing the sales element of being a PT, and they actively help trainers improve their professional development.

What he observed in that role subsequently drove his continued professional development.

“Whilst there I kept hearing people say how they were too intimidated by the ‘big gyms’ because they weren’t fit enough or well enough,” Chris adds, “so at the end of 2018, I completed an NASM Seniors Fitness certificate and then a Diploma in Exercise Referral, so I could focus on helping those populations.

Moving to Australia and the ease of portability

“As much as I loved what I was doing,” Chris explains, “my wife and I really missed our old Sydney lifestyle. So, we decided we had to return.” 

There was a reason to pause for thought, however.

“I was concerned as my new career was exactly that – new. 

“But, being able to get myself registered with AusREPs with such ease through the portability process has meant, within a week of that membership, I was invited for a number of interviews, and have just accepted a role at a Vision PT studio where I hope I can continue helping people get healthier and happier!

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