I hold a Pilates Teacher Training Certificate for Equipment and Matwork, in affiliation with Alan Herdman Pilates. This qualifies me to teach mat pilates and apparatus pilates for rehabilitation and exercise purposes. My training was designed and taught at the Physiotherapy and Pilates Rehabilitation Centre, Clevedon, UK, by Sarah Sessa, physiotherapist and pilates teacher, and Karen Pearce, an Alan Herdman trained pilates teacher and a former ballet dancer. Sarah and Karen are also joint authors of the book Pilates and Parkinson's (Muswell Hill Press, London, 2016).
Sports Yoga Teacher
I am a certified sports yoga teacher, having completed an 80 hour teacher training course on yoga for athletes and in sport, designed and taught in Chester, UK, by Sarah Ramsden. This vocational yoga training is accredited by Yoga Alliance Professionals.
In 2014 I was awarded my PhD from the Carnegie Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure at Leeds Beckett University, UK. My doctoral specialisation/research focused on motivation and consistency as factors in the participation of women over forty years old in exercise/physical activity and sports. After completing my MSc research under Professor Andrew C. Sparkes at Exeter University, I followed Andrew's move to the Leeds-based Carnegie Institute in order to continue my PhD research under his supervision.
MSc (Distinction), Sport and Health Sciences
Research supervisor Professor Andrew C. Sparkes.
Exeter University, UK.
Advanced Gym Instructor
I am a certified advanced gym instructor/fitness trainer (level 3), having completed my training in exercise knowledge, advanced cardiovascular programming and advanced resistance programming, with YMCA, UK.
I was born in 1950 in northern California, USA, and resided in the US until 1995 when I relocated to the UK. I acquired British citizenship in 2000. My varied background history consists of many years combined personal and professional involvement in sports, athletics and physical activities, including most recently in the fields of pilates and sports yoga.
My captivation and passion with combinations of sport, exercise, fitness and health began in my early teens. I was a team player on every sport that my secondary school offered and by the age of 18 I was qualified and employed in California as a state lifeguard and water safety instructor. After graduating from University of California at Davis, USA, in anthropology and physical education, I went on to complete my teaching certification in physical education and anthropology, later adding certification in biology and a school administrator credential. My main professional focus between 1973 and 1995 was as a high school teacher, sports coach, vice-principal at Hamilton Union High School, northern California, and science chair at Leuzinger High School, Los Angeles. I taught in various high schools throughout California, covering the subjects of physical education, sport, health, sex education, drug education and biology. During these same years I also coached gymnastics, swimming, field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball.
After relocating to England, in 1995 I became involved as a wider-ranging fitness and health professional through part-time university teaching and research at Canterbury Christ Church University College, work in the NHS, and as a private health educator. During this time I became fascinated by what makes some people motivated to exercise and play sport, and others simply to allow themselves to age and decay. This is reflected in my having earned Master's degrees at distinction level from Canterbury Christ Church University College and University of Kent at Canterbury, and from Exeter University, in areas of health education, health promotion, and sport and health sciences, and my PhD from Leeds Beckett.
In the early 2000s, in addition to studying for my higher degrees, I gained ITEC certification in anatomy, physiology and body massage, and completed my advanced gym instructor certification. Even by the time that I'd completed my certification I realised that my deep interest lay in areas of functional movement rather than basic fitness training. It was also during this period of my life that I first turned to pilates to help me with my life-long postural problems. Pilates, combined with my personal yoga and sports yoga was a terrific help, and its powerful work continues to improve my posture. My main professional focus is now on teaching studio-based mat and apparatus pilates (combined, where helpful, with other movement methodologies) to help clients remediate problems in their movement and/or posture that may have neurological, illness, injury or life-style origins.