Belong has appointed personal trainer and sports massage therapist, Anthony Harley, as lead exercise instructor, with responsibility for implementing fitness and rehabilitation programmes across its care villages.
Anthony, 44, is a former Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council gym instructor and also a former head of the Council’s GP Exercise Referral and Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme, and joins Belong at a time of great focus on the role of exercise in the care sector. In his new post he will support a team of seven fitness instructors, based at Belong’s care villages in Atherton, Wigan, Manchester, Warrington, Macclesfield, Crewe and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and will also assume responsibility for additional instructors as new villages are opened.
Hailing from Stoke-on-Trent, the former amateur boxer began his career in health and fitness following a sports injury, which led to him taking up study for qualifications in the fields of advanced training, nutrition and weight management and business. And he has recently added the Care Skills certificate to his list of qualifications.
Commenting on the new appointment, Anthony said: “I’m looking forward to putting my experience to good use to extend Belong’s training and rehabilitation programmes, and also expand the range of facilities to standardise them throughout the village estate.
Belong’s deputy chief executive, Tracy Paine believes the emphasis on physical rehabilitation and conditioning is increasing within the care sector, and that this added investment in this element of Belong’s facilities will enable it to keep up its pioneering work in the field. She said: “Anthony’s appointment signals the growing importance of exercise and rehabilitation, and its efficacy as a key component of our care provision. He comes to us with an excellent track record and brings a raft of fresh ideas, at a time when we are already seeing the beneficial impact exercise and rehabilitation can have for the wellbeing of older people, which augurs well for our future provision for our customers.”
Last year, Belong won the 3rd Sector Care Award for Innovative Quality Outcomes, which recognised the life-changing results the organisation had brought about through its specialist exercise programmes and the implementation of state-of-the-art SilverFit equipment, which uses gaming and virtual reality to engage older people in exercise for longer.