A TRIO of trainers outpaced stiff competition to reach the regional finals of a national competition recently.

Darlington College students Laurence Riley, Chris Wood and Tommy Pattison are celebrating after being shortlisted in the prestigious British Colleges of Sport Level 2 Fitness Instruction Competition.

The men, who currently study exercise, health and fitness, all hope to become professional fitness instructors, with Mr Wood aiming to open his own gym.

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Mr Pattison, from Darlington, said: “Effective personal training is so much more than just putting someone on the treadmill.

“You have to understand the person and what they want to achieve. You have to prepare them emotionally, educate and motivate them.”

Mr Riley, from Willington, added: “To win the competition would be extremely prestigious and would look amazing on my CV.”

Their programme leader Simon James said: ““There were close to 150 entries from which only ten were selected and we have three in the final, which is unheard of.

“All three richly deserve to be there because they are so passionate about the subject, have become extremely knowledgeable and have a great rapport with people.”

The regional finals of the competition will take place later this year at Redcar and Cleveland College.