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18 Nov 2021
Rio Ferdinand and The Gym Group launch Find Your Future initiative
By Tom Walker
Rio Ferdinand and The Gym Group launch Find Your Future initiative
The Gym Group will support students and work together with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation,
Photo: Rio Ferdinand Foundation
An initiative set up by the Rio Ferdinand Foundation in partnership with The Gym Group will see young Londoners being offered career opportunities in fitness and sport.

The new Find Your Future scheme will see up to 150 young people in South London benefit from an employment skills programme and the Community Sports Leadership Award – an accredited training programme.

Working together with the Foundation – which was set up by the former Manchester United and England star in 2012 – The Gym Group will support students by utilising the skills of its managers and support teams as ambassadors to deliver both practical and theory-based knowledge on fitness and develop employability skills in the leisure industry.

The activities will be delivered in youth centres across South London and utilise The Gym Group’s local gym facilities to deliver a realistic on the job experience.

In addition, The Gym Group has created a further opportunity for those who wish to start their career in the fitness industry. The Grow Your Own programme will provide further training and investment into the qualifications they need to become a personal trainer for the company and develop their own business should they so wish.

Bintou Crookes-Martin, chair of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, said: "The partnership with the Gym Group will support young people in developing the skills and experience they need to secure meaningful careers in the sports and fitness industries.

"By developing and investing in young people's confidence, transferable skills, leadership and project management accreditations and by giving them the opportunity to gain real-life work experience and placements with mentors, this programme will create real pathways for young people to enter the fitness industry and the wider world of work."

Aarron Benn, The Gym Group's regional manager for London, said: "This is a really exciting partnership, supporting and mentoring young people to improve their skillset to enter any place of work.

"Not only will this support young people generate further skills, but we will be potentially investing in our future fitness trainers and even potentially managers of the future, which is incredible.

"I can’t wait to work with everyone on the partnership and to start sharing all the success stories we are going to have."

Rio Ferdinand joined The Gym Group as a non-executive director in January 2021.

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