James Wheeler
Sport: Previously coached football, MMA and currently coaches kickboxing
District: Basildon

Hi my name is James; I am the operations manager for Brentwood Leisure Trust and Director of Fitness In Mind (FIM). I used to do karate and football when I was younger; I then went into the forces to where I gained the love for physical activity.

I became a lifeguard when I left the forces and started playing football again. During this time I coached football for a youth club and was lucky enough to go with them to play out in Germany. I coached football for the Brentwood centre for a while and run their holiday camps.

Later on in life I gave up football for MMA and became the operations manager for the Brentwood centre. From here I had a chance to coach MMA for FIM and then became a director I also gained both my level 2 gym instructor and level 3 personal training. Today I coach sparring for a kick boxing club at the centre too.

I suffer from anxiety (mostly social). Not really understanding my anxiety, sport offered a release for me as during the activities my mental health doesn’t seem to come out as much.

I have seen sport change people’s lives and break down barriers. This reflection is in ALL types of peoples not just non-disabled people.

Later on in life I saw the effect of physical activity on all shapes and sizes of people first hand and noticed how a good coach also has the power to level the playing field and allow all participants to train within their own limits whilst not singling anyone out.

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