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We are delighted to announce that Paula Wells, former Operations Director of fitness education provider - Premier Global NASM, joined YMCA Awards on 22nd October as our new Director.

Regarded as the international gold standard in the active leisure sector, YMCA Awards qualifications are delivered by more than 300 education providers around the globe.

Paula brings a wealth of leadership and project management experience to her new role, which spans over fifteen years in the Health, Fitness and Wellness sector.

Prior to her four years with Premier Global NASM, Paula’s illustrious career includes Project Management with Fitness First, National Training Manager at the Training Room and Regional Master Trainer at Virgin Active. Paula started her fitness career as a fully qualified Personal Training Instructor.

Paula has a string of accolades to her name including:

  • winner of the ‘UK Active 2017 Innovation Product of the Year’ Award.
  • leading the re-design and refurbishment of prestigious health club chain, Fitness First.
  • as a former UK Dance Champion, she represented Team GB specialising in Ballroom and Latin dancing.

Looking to build upon her career, Paula was drawn to the YMCA values of equality, inclusivity and positive social change:

“I’m a firm believer that fitness education should be accessible to everyone across the globe. Knowledge is powerful. It’s so important to share this knowledge in our communities and tackle physical inactivity by facilitating happy, healthy and more fulfilled lives. Working for an awarding organisation like YMCA Awards, which specialises in this field, is an exciting and rewarding opportunity. One of my goals is to positively communicate these YMCA brand values and help us to be the most respected and supportive awarding organisation in the sector.”

Paula is looking forward to getting stuck into her new Director role:

“YMCA Awards are the hallmark of quality in health and fitness education. What excites me the most is meeting new colleagues and exchanging awarding wisdom and experience, whilst generating new ideas. Working with such a strong YMCA Product and Quality team, means that we’re going to have some very exciting product launches over the coming months as well as our End Point Assessment offering. Watch this space!”

Not surprisingly, Paula maintains an active and healthy lifestyle. She has a keen interest in fitness, dancing, rowing and outdoor pursuits. Her passion for boxing has led her to recently qualify as an England Boxing level 1 Coach, which has enabled her to run boxing classes for women and children in her local community.

Paula lives in Cambridge and loves to travel. She’s looking forward to visiting Estonia and Finland with her partner, Gary, over Christmas.