08 Mar Inspiring Women in Fitness
Today is International Women’s Day – a time to celebrate everything that women have achieved, while also acknowledging the work that’s still to be done to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
To acknowledge the day, the Action PR team has picked a few women in fitness who inspire us daily.
Barrecore’s Founder and Creative Director: Niki Rein
Niki’s love affair with fitness began nearly two decades ago when she discovered dance-based conditioning exercise in the form of Barre. Moving from the US to London in 2009, she decided to launch Barrecore in the UK. We have watched Barrecore go from strength to strength, in awe of Nikki’s tenacity to grow the brand. With a range of classes for all levels, including the new pre-natal classes, Niki’s expertise, healthy-living approach and down-to-earth nature have made Barrecore a household name in the fitness world. We were so proud to be a part of her tenth London studio opening last month and look forward to further successes.
MoreYoga’s Head of Vibes and yoga instructor: Liz Joy Oakley
If your brand is only as good as the people who work for you, then MoreYoga is in safe hands with Liz Joy Oakley. As the Head of Vibes for the business, and one of the key instructors at the Stoke Newington studio, Liz’s dedication to make yoga accessible and enticing to the masses is second to none. Her awe-inspiring energy and enthusiasm leave us feeling uplifted.
We are yet to discover something Liz cannot do. From creating and running MoreYoga’s events, workshops and themed classes, to representing the brand at industry panels, her skills know no end. Liz recently featured on SWEAT’s panel regarding the state of the boutique fitness industry and showcased her passion for making yoga an affordable option for Londoners.
Managing Director of Active IQ: Jenny Patrickson
Jenny is such a familiar face in the industry! She inspires us – and so many others – by her incredible energy and commitment to driving industry issues, particularly focusing on setting and upholding the highest of standards. We love how she is never afraid to challenge the status quo and then how generous she is with her time and expertise to bring about the changes we all want to see. She is inspirational and a true leader who shares her knowledge and time with such grace.
Run Things Run Club’s Co-Founder: Clare Rixon
Clare inspires us for her honesty, generosity and absolute commitment to helping others find freedom, happiness and wellness through running – just as she did. Running helped her manage her experience of depression and a suicide attempt in her teens and 20s and she wants to give back to others in this way.
Through her collaboration with Kevin Betts, she has helped to raise over £20,000 for MIND, by engaging runners in virtual events including ‘Marathon In A Day’ and ‘Run Up To Christmas’. She has just launched the virtual Run Things Run Club, hoping to offer further support – both mental and physical – while raising more funds for MIND. Clare has a full-time job and a demanding training schedule, yet always makes time to give back to people and encourage them to find happiness and strength through running.
Les Mills CEO: Wendy Coulson
After 10 years at Lloyds Bank working on its management development scheme, Wendy took a leap of faith into the leisure industry in 2002. Truly passionate about spreading her love of fitness and encouraging others to get active, she has worked her way to the top of her field, leading from the front as CEO at Les Mills UK and Ireland. She now works tirelessly to spread the company’s message of creating a fitter planet, engaging with operators and consumers to bring fitness to the masses. Every time we speak with Wendy, we are left feeling inspired to go out and achieve our dreams… as well as find our nearest BODYPUMP class…
Speaker, Writer, Mentor: Emma Barry
Emma is known in our office as the fountain of all fitness knowledge. Emma has held senior roles in group fitness programming, product development, global training and people and culture. She was a founding member of the group fitness juggernaut Les Mills International and previously Director of Group Fitness Programming for the luxury-lifestyle brand, Equinox.
A prolific writer and sought-after speaker and mentor, Emma is fluent in fitness trends. Armed with 25 years’ experience, we listen in admiration and enthusiasm when she takes to the stage at international business forums, trend panels and women’s events.
Westminster Lodge Personal Trainer: Jo Hancock
Jo is hands down one of the best PTs out there in our eyes. Every day she works on the frontline inspiring more people to be happy and healthy. She works with a wide range of clients, including older adults, those suffering both physical (cancer) and mental (PTSD and anxiety) illness, and everything in between. She is a real go getter with a passion for all things fitness. We admire her for everything that she does to help her clients improve their health and were so proud when she was announced as runner up at last year’s National Fitness Awards for Personal Trainer of the Year.
Gosh! Food’s CEO: Jane Rayner
We couldn’t think of a better woman to lead the free from food charge at Gosh! Making it her mission to tackle the issues of food choices and problems faced by many, her advocacy of kindness helped us shape the Kindness Café to what it is today. Together we have been able to share kindness as an outlet to the masses. And some very tasty healthy food too!
Part-time PT and instructor: Tyrene Soler
We love anyone who stands up for what they believe in and isn’t afraid to be different. That is exactly why we look up to Tyrene. Balancing a full-time job with personal training a wealth of clients, she is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Always standing true to herself, she rocks her muscly look and focuses on her own physical goals, despite comments about being too bulky for a woman.
And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our two founders, Dawn and Cheryl. Leading the charge every single day, they are the role models of the Action PR team.