Christchurch born-and-bred Shelley Bromley knows a bit about upheavals and the necessity of embracing change throughout life.
Having lived her whole life on Christchurch’s east side, the Christchurch earthquakes (2011) saw Shelley and her family look for new opportunities and head out of the city. After the earthquakes, her and her husband’s job ended instantly; Shelley worked for an in-home child care company and her husband was a mortgage broker. Changing gears and vocations, they started a cleaning company, had their house repaired, then sold it and moved to Kaiapoi, just a short drive from Christchurch.
It was a busy time for Shelley; she had another child in her late thirties, then after five-and-a-half years in Kaiapoi, the family moved to nearby Rangiora. During this time they were owner operators of their cleaning company for twelve years, but Shelley harboured a desire to try a new career path as a Personal Trainer (PT). “Honestly, I think it takes years before you really know what you want to do in life,” she says. Now in her mid-forties, the motivation to pursue this career change came from receiving advice from like-minded people.
“How did I come to this? People kept telling me ‘you need to go and study and become a PT - it's what you love - follow your passion’”. When she was at the gym, members and trainers would approach Shelley, asking if she worked there. “So they planted a seed. It took me three months before I made my decision, all while researching courses.”
Having known about SIT for a number of years through investigating study options for her daughter, Shelley did an online search and found SIT Christchurch Campus had the course she was looking for. She enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Levels 4 and 5) in 2022. There were multiple reasons to study at SIT, she says. “The Zero Fees Scheme, small classes, and hours that suited [my child’s] school hours.”
No stranger to fitness, Shelley had run evening boot camps, as well as group sessions from home when she was Kaiapoi based. “At that stage it never entered my mind to study, I wish I did it back then,” she says.
Coming into the programme “knowing a fair bit already”, Shelley had no expectations – she thinks high expectations can lead to disappointment. Having the opportunity to study both levels 4 and 5 in one year, Shelley says she walked away with extensive knowledge.“... There is too much to elaborate on... Lets just say, the body is an amazing piece of machinery.”
“When I left, my mind was booming with knowledge,” Shelley says. She immediately put the new knowledge into practice on a day-to-day basis in her own training and with her clients.
“My whole attitude towards learning has changed completely. The course has shaped me to be a great trainer and teacher.” It’s gratifying for Shelley to know she can pass the knowledge onto her clients, family and friends.
Shelley found the course content to be wholly valuable. Post-course, she has carried out more research, which she’s using for the clients and her own well-being. “The results are proving to be positive and beneficial - compound exercises, correct breathing techniques and a low-GI diet.”
Elaborating on the most enjoyable parts of being an SIT student, Shelley says “Firstly, it would have to be the learning experience over the year.” She also lists interacting with a diverse range of people who really were ‘from all walks of life’, and meeting tutors from other courses “was always refreshing”.
“I had a wonderful tutor. Rainer is excellent at what he does. His wealth of knowledge is outstanding and I have so much respect for him. I now call him my friend and ex-tutor.”
“My biggest highlight was graduation; graduation was a proud moment that I achieved, walking away with two New Zealand national certificates.”
Shelley adds she faced no major challenges during her time at SIT. She did the study, graduated, then set up her own business, just as she intended to do.
Shelley explains right from the first interview she had with course tutor, Rainer, self-employment was always her goal. When asked “where do you see yourself - gym or working for yourself?" her answer was “working for myself". After completing level 4 she was asked again, and when the year ended, she still had the same response. “I did a short stint at a local gym, and realised what I already knew: gyms just aren't for me. The best thing I did was go out on my own,” she says.
“I’m currently a Personal Trainer, I am self-employed, working from my home and in Christchurch.” Shelley runs group fitness sessions in Christchurch five days a week and Rangiora three days a week. Ever the motivated business owner, she has set herself a goal of having twenty clients in six months; she wants to be training netball teams by pre-season and during the netball season this year, as well.
“I would absolutely have no hesitation in recommending SIT to anyone who is thinking of studying. I loved meeting the other tutors and having a great banter with them. They are all very welcoming and a friendly team,” Shelley concluded.