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Paolo Giminez

Paolo Giminez

Tell us something unique about yourself

I love to travel, and over the last 20 years I have worked in 5 different countries. Embracing the diversity and cultures of the countries I was living in helped me learn and grow as a person. It taught me how to be adaptable and agile, as well as the value of embracing people’s cultural backgrounds within the work environment.

It’s incredibly important to me for the team members I work with to feel included and that they can be themselves. I want people to bring their whole self to work and I try to do the same, as I believe the key to unlocking someone’s potential is ensuring they feel connected and part of the team.

Who are you at work?

My career in fitness started by going to the gym and attending a body pump class back in 1999 when I was living in the Philippines. The instructor asked me to think about becoming an instructor and from there I was hooked.

I began my journey at VA as a GEM in our Wandsworth club and moved through the GEM ranks into Mansion House and Walbrook before taking on my current role as Head of Grid Training.

Who I am at work has evolved over the years, now when I’m teaching I am usually one of the most experienced people in the group. So I tend to be more of a tempering force and a calmer influence on people.

What are your dreams for the future?

My main priority is for my family to be secure and to have a place under the sun where I can jet off to between London and the Philippines. As, although I consider London my home, I would still like to be able to go to the Philippines to see my family as much as I can.

As I’ve matured I have started to think about the ‘bigger’ ongoing issues that are affecting the planet. Thinking not just about my own needs but also the needs of others. For me this means treating each other better and being kind wherever you can. I hope to live in a world where everyone considers the needs of others, not just their own.

What excites you about your role?

The people that I get to see, whether I’m training new instructors, collaborating with my wider product team or speaking to members in club. All the people I get to work with and support inspire me every day.

The challenge of making a positive change to how people train and helping them do that more effectively is exciting to me. I create training content that I able to work on from theory to execution. Seeing the end product come to life is something I am very proud of.

What direction do you feel GEX at Virgin Active is moving in?

Onwards and upwards... the new emphasis of rewarding loyalty AND performance. Giving our people what is due and really caring about our members, our teams and our communities. Despite the tough times we are showing progression in careers that no other similar player in the UK is offering.

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