Denton brain injury survivor’s exercise encouragement
Monday 19th December 2016 @ 18:12 by Adam Higgins
Community Denton & Audenshaw News

A brain injury survivor is encouraging people with disabilities to exercise after graduating from a programme to get disabled people to work in the fitness sector.

Brett Arnold, 33, from St Anne’s Road, Denton, has volunteered twice a week at Seashell Trust’s gym for the past year after a placement there for his Level 3 InstructAbility personal fitness course.

Heather Potter, manager of the fitness suite in Cheadle Hulme, said: “Brett is a great role model for the many disabled young people who access our gym. They all enjoy working out with Brett, especially when he gets out the boxing gloves and pads.

“Brett’s support worker has been a great help through the process and enables him to work independently.”


Brett was motivated to become a fitness instructor after the support of his local gym following a brain injury.

In 2008, the former mechanic, was in a road accident that left him hospitalised. Before the accident he was very active and enjoyed Thai boxing.

That interest in fitness helped regain his balance and coordination and throughout the intensive rehabilitation Brett said he wanted to give something back to people in a similar situation.

The InstructAbility programme, run by Aspire, the spinal injury charity, was recommended to him.

It provides disabled people with free, accessible fitness industry training and qualifications so they can encourage other disabled people to access leisure facilities and enjoy an active lifestyle.

Graduates of the InstructAbility programme and their placement providers were invited to a glamorous national awards ceremony to celebrate their achievements and be presented with their hard-earned certificates.

Brett and Heather (both pictured) were among the guests addressed by guest speaker Joe Townsend, former Royal Marine commando and Paralympian.

Heather said: “It was a lovely night with lots of great guest speakers around disability and engaging disabled people in exercise and the fitness sector.

“Sport England announced it would be putting a further £380,000 for phase 3 of InstructAbility.

“This means many more disabled people will be given the opportunity to not only train to become fitness instructors but to also work in the fitness industry.

“Having disabled people as fitness role models will hopefully encourage more disabled people to take up physical activity.”