Fitness & Health
Leave a Comment

Celebrating Women in Sport with Future Fit Training

woman lifting a barbell

Human Kinetics is proud to partner with Future Fit Training. For the past 30 years they’ve been educating fitness professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds, working with women who have excelled in professional sport and are looking to move into the next stage of their careers.

The women Future Fit have worked with demonstrate women excelling in fields that have traditionally been the remit of men, and show that even when you have reached the pinnacle of sporting accomplishment, there is still another chapter to come, one that requires a redefining of the established definition of success. Future Fit’s ambassadors showcase some of these women, from their sporting achievements and onwards.

The following article is authored by Future Fit Training.

Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes was the first British female athlete to win both the 800m and 1500m. Her twelve major Championship medals, including two Olympic gold medals have secured her place in the history books.

Kelly believes that it takes just one person to change the course of a young person’s life. For her, that person was her primary school teacher – the person that first noticed her athletic potential and encouraged her to pursue it. This belief led her to create the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust shortly before her retirement. Its mission is to help equip young people with the emotional skills to shape their own futures, ensuring that the next generation of sporting champions can move forward with confidence.

Looking to use not only the physical skills she learnt through both athletics and her career in the army, but also the motivational tools and self-discipline – Kelly trained as a Personal Trainer with Future Fit. Speaking of her move into coaching, she said “sport has been a part of my life as long as I can remember, and my success has been largely due to the coaching and professional guidance I was given.” With her Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification, Kelly can provide that guidance and expertise to help others.

Victoria Williamson

Victoria Williamson has competed at an elite level in not one, but two sports. She initially competed in track cycling, specialising in sprint disciplines and won a medal in the World Track Cycling Championship in 2013. In 2019, Victoria announced her switch to bobsleigh, having impressed in Team GB trials.

Victoria’s career demonstrates her resilience and ability to transform, coming back from a horrific injury that dashed her hopes of being at the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016. A mid-race collision left her with a broken back, neck, and pelvis. Despite four operations and prolonged rehab, a resurgence of back pain ruled out a return to cycling but Victoria wasn’t ready to give up on competing in elite sport and looked for further opportunities, transitioning into bobsleigh. 

Victoria is undertaking a Personal Trainer qualification with Future Fit to enable her to support others in their journey to health and fitness. 

Maya-Ray Cross

Maya began kayaking at fifteen, and now competes for Britain in Freestyle Kayaking. Reaching the level of elite sport so quickly would be an achievement for anyone, but Maya-Ray, better known as Mayo, has a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which causes her chronic pain and means that her joints frequently dislocate.

In addition to kayak coaching, Mayo has created an online community through her blog ‘Can U Kayak?’ which gives her a platform to spread her message about the importance of accessibility in sport. Mayo is also studying to become a Personal Trainer with Future Fit so she can inspire others to fulfil their potential and become the best they can be.

Future Fit’s notes on the future of women in sport

There are numerous challenges facing women in sport but perhaps the most frequently referenced is the inequality they face in terms of pay. Women in sport put in the same level of effort as their male counterparts, dedicating their lives to training, yet they earn significantly less. Whilst pay varies between sports, few female athletes will earn enough during their career to not require employment after it ends. 

Women’s sport is not as lucrative as men’s, attracting far smaller audiences and subsequently less income in terms of sponsorship and television rights. Recent success from teams like the Red Roses (England’s Rugby Union team) and high profile victories like the Lionesses in Euro 2022 are raising the profile of women’s sport. Improved marketing and media coverage would continue to raise the profile and attract larger audiences. If this is matched by continued investment then women’s sport will grow and its participants will be able to demand a larger wage. 

Undoubtably, the image of women in sport is changing and women are now visible in sports that are traditionally perceived as ‘masculine’ such as powersports. Women like Sam Briggs, winner of the CrossFit Games, are pushing the boundaries and inspiring more women to take up a greater variety of sports. Victoria Williamson said “By having these figures of sport be strong women, we’re more likely to challenge what’s perceived as a male sport, and vice versa. As a whole, if we can collectively push the strong females to continue achieving, we’re more likely to banish the barriers women face, such as body image fears. We’ve got some great people leading the way, so with the media’s support, I think we’ll see some big changes over the next few years.”

Whilst wage parity may be the ultimate goal, by utilising their skills to transition into health and fitness coaching, female athletes can continue to push the boundaries and challenge limitations. By working within the fitness industry after leaving elite sport, and helping others in their community, they not only enhance the reputation of women in sport but also help to change the perception women hold of themselves and the stereotypes they face.

This blog post was authored by Future Fit Training – a leading training provider, offering courses in personal training, nutrition and much more.

Header photo by cottonbro studio.

This entry was posted in: Fitness & Health


Human Kinetics is the world's leading information provider on physical activity and health. This blog is operated by the European division of Human Kinetics, based in Leeds in the United Kingdom. In this blog we aim to bring you our latest products, news on our existing products and articles and information on health, exercise, fitness, PE, nutrition and much, much more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.