All of the team boast degrees and the majority have masters degrees in their chosen fields as they help the next generation of active students achieve their goals.
The department comprises of Brendan Lally, who has a degree in Sports Studies; Andy Manners, who has a masters in Health and Physical Education and a Phd in Instructional Systems and Workforce Development; Simon James, David John and Richard Longstaff who have masters in Sport and Exercise Science; Craig Hayward, who has a masters in Strength and Conditioning; and Lucy Carroll, who has a masters in Advanced Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation and operates a sports injury clinic.
Sport, fitness and wellbeing are becoming more important than ever before as the country struggles to cope with record levels of obesity and issues surrounding an ageing population.
Demand for outdoor leaders, sports and fitness instructors and therapists is growing.
Increased activity is seen as a cost-effective means of complementing traditional medicine and treatment as it heads off a wide range of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
David John, who heads the college’s Personal Training section said: “We are all part of Darlington’s healthy town initiative as the nation struggles with obesity levels approaching epidemic proportions.
“As well as targeting young people interested in staying active or pursuing careers in sport and exercise, there is a growing sector of the community aged 65 and over who are looking at exercise as a way of staying well. This can often require specially trained staff who understand health conditions such as lower back pain and postnatal considerations.”
“The outdoor leisure sector is growing too with the likes of Center Parcs, high ropes courses and water sports growing in popularity, offering more opportunities for qualified staff than ever before,” said Richard Longstaff, head of Outdoor Adventure.
The department achieved outstanding grades in the 2015-16 academic year, well above the national averages, and has close links with higher education, local industry, Middlesbrough and Darlington Football Clubs, as well as the Martin Gray Football Academy.
Curriculum manager Alan Jones said: “Darlington College really is blessed with some of the best qualified, committed and dedicated tutors in the region, all experts in their field, well connected with the industry and able and willing to pass on their knowledge to help students get a head start in a competitive world.”