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Fitness resolutions put student enterprise in good shape

A health and fitness centre which offers young people the chance to train for their future careers is celebrating its 600th sign up.

The Oxford Lifestyle Centre was launched as a social enterprise by City of Oxford College in September 2014.

The centre, which opened following a £6m refurbishment of the college’s Oxpens Road campus, provides a commercial gym, hair and beauty salons where students and apprentices work and train.

This month the gym reached a new milestone as it signed up its 600th member.  

Dan Rule who works as a personal trainer at the centre while completing a Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching, Fitness and Rehabilitation said: “Working at the Oxford Lifestyle Centre alongside my degree has given me that important real life experience.

“Being able to interact with the clients as a personal trainer has given me confidence and additional skills to be able to shape what we offer to meet the needs of the customer.”

The Oxford Lifestyle Centre is run as a learning company, developed by City of Oxford College and other members of the Activate Learning group to help students train in real, commercial environments.

Cheryl Pennington, head of campus at City of Oxford College, said: “The learning company model is a central part of our learning philosophy. This understands that students need to see the relevance and impact of what they learn to maintain motivation.

“Putting students and apprentices into the live environment, stretches and develops their skills and knowledge. At the same time they develop important customer service skills and learn the importance of teamwork, communication and creative thinking.

“We are delighted that the Oxford Lifestyle Centre is proving so popular with customers and we look forward to attracting even more as the city’s West End development takes shape on our doorstep.”

City of Oxford College is part of the Activate Learning group, which also includes Banbury and Bicester College and Reading College. In Oxfordshire the group is also the lead sponsor for UTC Oxfordshire, The Bicester School and Bicester Technology Studio, opening September 2016.

Find out more about The Oxford lifestyle Centre at