And bear in mind, that Michaela and Sinead started the gym with
zero business experience!
Since opening in December 2012, membership numbers have
doubled. Breeze's Gym is one of only a few gyms that can
boast a more female dominant membership base. In just 20
months, Michaela has coached 10 athletes to compete at
international level. Michaela and her protogee Christie
Williams also represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in
Glasgow this summer.
Now working with all local comprehensive schools, the local
college and a primary school in Aberdare, Breeze's Gym are engaging
youngsters of all ages and abilities in physical activity.
Working closely with each school, both in lessons, during lunch
times and after school clubs either at the schools or at the gym,
they endeavour to accommodate schools requests where possible.
Michaela says, "I can develop weightlifters from secondary
school age and these four secondary's cover a massive patch so that
is a huge achievement for the business in less than 2 years."
Now we all know that a skilled and passionate workforce is an
essential ingredient in getting every child hooked on sport for
life. So - if you are start-up business - take note of Michaela and
"Within the first month of opening Breeze's Gym, we were a
little understaffed and rushed off our feet with this new
business. Two girls came to us asking for work experience,
Natasha and Sam. Neither had any experience or background in the
fitness industry but we gave them some hours and were appreciative
of the extra pairs of hands," says Michaela.
"Natasha was studying a sports related course at college, having
left school at 15 without any GCSEs. She joined up as a gym member
and then she requested a couple of hours a week of work experience.
She was so enthusiastic, it ended up being much more than that.
She now has her Level 2 Fitness Instructors course and, with
qualifications under her belt, her confidence has gone through the
roof and she is now employed on a full time basis.
Sam joined us on work experience in January 2013 just a few week
after we opened. She needed a certain amount of work
experience to claim her jobseekers allowance. She started on
reception but soon realized to progress or to have any opportunity
of us keeping her on in a paid capacity that she'd need fitness
qualifications. She has worked really hard to achieve the necessary
qualifications and is now employed on a full time basis.
Amy started working for us just two weeks after we opened. On
reception and carrying out cleaning duties initially because she
wasn't fitness instructor qualified. Amy was also really keen
to do more - she quickly passed both level 2 Fitness Instructor and
level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications and was promoted to Duty
Manager. We saw potential in Amy and her passion to commit to the
business was clear. A few months later, she was promoted
again to Operations Manager. She has made incredible progress and
has taken on massive responsibility. It really is incredible
just how far someone can come with the right opportunities and
You can find out more about how Michaela set up the facility in
the below film and you can also find out more about the facility
itself in this You Tube film.
Michaela's top tips
If you're in need of a committed and passionate workforce, then
here are Michaela's top tips:
(1) Accept work experience offers - they work
for free and you can find out how good they are and then offer
them employment, but at the same time, don't be afraid to say
so if you don't think they are right for your company.
(2) A lack of experience can actually be a good
thing - you can mold and develop them as you want to fit
(3) Sinead line manages our staff and sets out
the standards from the very outset in the staff induction. It's
vital that employees are absolutely clear on what's expected of
them and the quality of the work that is required. Be firm and
clear at the beginning - it makes your life as an employer much
easier! For all of our cleaning and day to day checks that
are required, we provide daily checklists so there is no room for
error or misunderstandings about exactly what is required on each
(4) If you're recruiting, don't just take on
the best candidate. If none of the candidates are good enough, then
recruit again and be patient.
(5) In the application process, we invite
candidates to undertake a written application. Once we've sifted
the candidates, we then carry out one to one interviews and a
practical aspect to see how they would go about the actual job
we're asking them to do. People can be great on paper but we also
need them to have good people skills and a level of confidence.