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THE LITTLE GYM westfield


 

Bart_copyBART KOOREVAAR

Gym director

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- I’ve been working at The Little Gym Westfield for over 6 years now so a lot of stories come to mind! I don’t have a favourite story but my favourite thing that happens at The Little Gym is the relationships your build with all the children, parents, nannies etc. You see children’s confidence grow by the week, they try new skills, have the best time ever and you can see how proud the parents are! That’s an amazing story!

How did you get interested in sports?
- As a child I was always very active. loved playing outside and PE was my favourite subject at school. I’ve completed a Sports Degree back in Holland when i was 21 years old and I’ve been teaching children different kind of sports ever since.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- At the moment I study Chinese in the evening (Mandarin), spend time with my family, visit Sport Events with friends and go for nice dinners with my girlfriend.

​What can't you live without? ​
- I can’t live without chocolate! If I had it my way I would just eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I’m sure my dentist would not be too happy with that.

Where ​have you lived?
- I was born in Holland and moved to London over 6 years ago. I’m not a real globetrotter but you never know what the future might bring!

  

DougDoug

Programme director

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- When I was at TLG Waterloo, I had my Sunday morning Birds (10m-18m) class, and a little girl that was just at that border-line walking phase, she had the technique but wasn't ready to do it on her own. We were calling her, encouraging her to walk towards people/objects. At some point she was standing by herself, and I walked towards her, she was so terrified that she turned around and walked towards her mum! ALONE! 

How did you get interested in sports?
- I probably started "sports" by chasing after one of my brothers, but since then I've been all over the place. I tried out football, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, athletics, basketball and table tennis before finding rugby. Which eventually gave me my first taste of coaching and got me to university studying Sports Science & Coaching. At University is when I first got into child development and I've been hooked ever since.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- It depends how much free time I have! In the evenings I'll go running or climbing or just hang out with friends. If I have the weekend or holidays I'll definitely go travelling and exploring. Whether it's one of the London museums or a city trip to Edinburgh, it's all about finding new places and meeting new people for me.

​What can't you live without? ​
- Mmh... I do love my fruit. Any fruit there is! Peaches, bananas, oranges, melons I always have some with me. If there's ever a fruit lying around the gym, it's probably mine.

Where ​have you lived?
- I've lived in quite a few places, I was born abroad and I think I always will be. "Once an ex-pat, always an ex-pat!", here's a list so far: Noordwijk (NL) - Brussels (BE) - Limerick (IE) - Overijse (BE) - Chichester (UK) - Brussels (BE) with a couple of 3 months spells in Massachussets (USA) in there as well.

  

Gabi_copyGABI DEDICOVA

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- At The Little Gym, there are always little things leading to big stories that are happening every day. Seeing little Birdies taking their first steps, encouraging Funny Bugs during their first class on their own or gasping from Twisters' amazing cartwheels off the beam, it is just a bit of the beauty of being a The Little Gym teacher.

How did you get interested in sports?
- Starting with ballet and gymnastics at age of 5 was such a great way that helped me later understand the importance of being fit and having fun at the same time. I've always loved doing different kinds of sports, especially volleyball and table tennis! I find table tennis one the most interesting games ever, yay!

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- I have to admit, the most favourite and dearest to my heart is definitely dance. It is this great and satisfactory feeling I have after each dance rehearsal or performance! I chose London for living as there are so many wonderful opportunities that I could even take a different dance class every day : )

​What can't you live without? ​
- I would not be able to live without dancing and teaching. There is just something very magical and special about it. The classes, new people, new styles, teaching children or adults, process of creating a new piece, the full choreography and the performance, all of that makes me very happy!

Where ​have you lived?
- Slovakia & London.

  

Alex_copyALEX TILFOURD

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- I have been teaching here for 3 years and my favourite thing to witness is the first time a child lands a skill by them self… and the joy an excitement it can bring… whether it be the over enthusiastic hi-five you receive from a funny bug after doing their first ever unassisted forward roll or watching the entire face of a Twister light up the first time they land a round off back tuck with no spotting… those are the most memorable and rewarding moments as a The Little Gym instructor for me.

How did you get interested in sports?
- Ever since I could walk I was playing catch in the park with my dad and I guess that is what sparked my interest in sport. When I was 11 I joined Brent Swimming club and competed for the next 8 years by which time I was a qualified lifeguard and swimming coach. I had a trampoline in my garden at University and I think my passion for gymnastics started from there… and it never flipping stopped!

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- Backflips! In my spare time I love to practice my own gymnastics skills and try to learn something new. I try to do some strength and conditioning training at least twice a week. I also enjoy cycling all over London and discovering something new to do in this amazing city.

​What can't you live without? ​
- Backflips! They are my favourite things to do!

Where ​have you lived?
- I grew up in Harlesden in northwest London. I spent 3 years studying a biology degree at Portsmouth University. Now I’m back in London and absolutely loving being a part of this vibrant city. There is literally something to do every night of the week.

  

EllieEllie Davies

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- My favourite story at the Little Gym is when I made a special friend called Adel who was asking me to make a promise that I would stay at the Little Gym forever. Whilst she was asking teacher Niamh to keep me at the Little Gym; this was lovely as I felt like I already created a relationship with one of the kids. This made me feel excited about making more friends with the children.

How did you get interested in sports?
- I first became interested in sports when I started dancing at a dance school at young age. I then became interested in gymnastics and other sports such as tennis and netball through out school and university.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my free time I love dancing in dance classes such as ballet and contemporary.

​What can't you live without? ​
- My mum!

Where ​have you lived?
- Bristol and London.

  

CaseyCasey

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- My favourite Little Gym story would have to be when I was showing the Funny Bugs an activity where we had to use all of our skills to escape from the Wizards Layer together and they all asked where the Wizard was, so Teacher Gabby showed them all the head of the bin which looks a little like a ducks head and said that he was the evil Wizard, but he was sleeping so we had to be really quiet. As I was speaking to one of the Funny Bugs, saying 'We have to be quiet or the Wizard will get us' and he responded with a sly look in his eye, 'Teacher Casey... It's only a bin'.

How did you get interested in sports?
- When I was in Secondary School, I started playing football in P.E and loved it, so played in their friendly games in the after school team. Then we were given a term of dance. This was amazing to me, the most fun I felt like I had ever had! So I entered some dance competitions with some friends and to my surprise actually won a couple, that was when I knew I wanted dance to be one of the elements in my career. Then when I started College, which had to do with being on stage a lot, in front of people, so I asked my parents what I could do to build self confidence, that is when I started Kickboxing. This was a lot of fun, and I gained a lot of flexibility and strength from this and then started to help out the instructors informally helping to teach some of the classes, whilst still doing dancing in my studies on the side. 

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my free time, I love to spend time with family and friends including baby sitting my cousins. I also love to swim, go to the Gym and kickboxing. I also love to go to the Cinema, Theatre and to Perform on stage. 

​What can't you live without? ​
- I couldn't live without my hair products, otherwise I would have a mane like a Lion. I also couldn't live without seeing my baby cousins.

Where have you lived?
-I have lived in Leicester, London: Chisiwck, London: Acton and then back to London: Chisiwick 

   

Amy BentleyAmy Bentley

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- Even though I am a new member of the team at The Little Gym there are so many moments that have put a smile on my face. One moment that has stood out to me involved a little girl on her first day at camp. Helping and seeing her lift herself on the bar and touch the bar with her feet was a very proud moment. However, as it was her first day she began to doubt her gymnastic ability. I reminded her that everyone works at our own pace and it was fantastic what she had already achieved. Seeing her belief rise throughout the session felt incredibly rewarding. 

How did you get interested in sports?
- From a very young age, I have always enjoyed dancing and the freedom to express yourself through movement. I love being active in everyday life as it makes me feel good. As a child, I loved taking Acro classes and learning cool skills. Throughout my education, I have studied and practised many dance styles and achieved a degree in Dance Studies. Working at The Little Gym allows me to express the same creative, explorative and energetic approach as I've learnt in dance whilst teaching children. 

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my free time, I love to go to the cinema, watch theatre productions (my favourite was the Great Gatsby), explore London whilst playing Pokemon Go with my boyfriend!

​What can't you live without? ​
- Food... I'm a real foodie and at the moment have a slight addiction to sushi... and chocolate... but not together!!

Where ​have you lived?
- I am originally from the West Midlands but have lived in London for 3 years now as I moved down for university. 

   

Matthew-HaywoodMatthew Haywood

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- On my first day ever teaching at The Little Gym, I helped a shy girl do her first forward roll, and I saw her face light up when she realised she'd learnt something new. It was so nice to get that rewarding feeling on my first day and to know that I'm already helping kids learn, have fun and grow their confidence; that's what it's all about for me!

How did you get interested in sports?
- I've been involved in trampolining on and off since I was about 8, and it's been my favourite sport ever since. I was part of my local club at home, then joined the team at Uni and did a couple of competitions with them. I've recently got back into it again and I intend to be a qualified trampoline coach within the next year!

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- I have three dogs and I love taking them on walks with my girlfriend in Richmond Park and use this as a way to explore new places. I also like to cycle, go to gigs and spend time with my family and friends when I can.

​What can't you live without? ​
- Pokémon Go! I've always loved the Pokémon franchise and it gives me even more reason to get out, get moving and explore the world! My girlfriend says I play too much :) haha!

Where ​have you lived?
- I was born in Crawley, spent my childhood in Horley, went to the University of Sussex for a bit and now I'm in Richmond.

  

Jodie_copyJodie Hartshorne

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- I have to say, being around such happy and friendly children really makes this job worthwhile. My favourite story so far, would be the lovely welcome I received from the children. Straight away I felt at home and I feel so warmed by the children’s response on a ‘new’ teacher in the room. It must have been my first proper go teaching in the gym and the children were straight away telling me about their day, giving me cuddles and working hard with me to get their tricks perfected!

How did you get interested in sports?
- My dad used to take me to gymnastics class early on a Saturday when I was around 6 years old and have since then loved to learn new tricks and skills. I have always loved taking part in different sports at school and have had an active childhood that lead me to start dance classes. Then on, I have grown a real passion for ballet but will always love gymnastics and all of the skills it requires.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- I love love love to chill out! Having an active lifestyle keeps me busy and love a bit of time to relax at home with my friends.

​What can't you live without? ​
- My mum! Being away from home all the time makes me miss her lots.

Where ​have you lived?
- I grew up in Birmingham and moved to London to start university one year ago.

   

JamilaJamila

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- My favourite The Little Gym story is my first time when i got to be lead warm up and group activity. This was such fun and the children really listened and carried out everything I asked also telling me really interesting things along the way. 

How did you get interested in sports?
- ​I have always had a keen interest in sport and healthy living which is why I picked BTEC sport to extend my knowledge and also learn many new things about the human body an health and fitness itself. ​

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- I love spending time with family and friends, shopping, watching my favourite tv shows and playing the playstation​.

​What can't you live without? ​
- ​Food, my cat Maverick and my family​. 

Where ​have you lived?
- ​I have only lived in the UK.