APPRENTICES often jump at the chance to get into sport and leisure.

Next year’s Olympics in London are expected to fuel more interest with a massive wave of interest in getting fit and healthy.

The sport and fitness industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, covering all aspects of sport and recreation, from professional sport to exercise instruction, working in leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, stadiums, private sports clubs and outdoor activities.

Gyms and fitness centres have never been busier, leisure centres never fuller and outdoor pursuits never more popular.

There are around 2.5 million people who have a gym membership in Britain.

An estimated 650,000 people work in the industry in around 230,000 businesses and organisations throughout the country. And that does not include the countless volunteers who give sporting opportunities to youngsters.

Millions of people enjoy sports and fitness activities at community leisure centres, private health clubs and outward bound centres – and all need keen, motivated and well trained staff to make sure that things run smoothly as well as to instruct and inspire.

The health and fitness industry focuses on the supervision of exercise and physical activity and the UK has thousands of fitness clubs, leisure centres and gyms. They all need fitness instructors, personal trainers, activity leaders and leisure centre managers.

Over the last decade there has been a rapid growth with Government initiatives to enhance public health by tackling obesity.

Fitness instructors and coaches help people to put together fitness plans, lead classes and induct new gym members. Depending on the size of the gym, instructors may have to help out at reception, cleaning pools, maintenance checks or marketing activities. This is one of those industries where everyone has to muck in.

Apprentices are involved in a wide range of duties to ensure that leisure centres, gyms and sporting events run smoothly – including maintenance of equipment, keeping the changing rooms clean and enrolling new members.

Huddersfield-based CMS Vocational Training is working with many local gyms, health clubs and sporting venues to train both new and existing staff.