Olivia Tully

Pre-Apprenticeship Learner of the Year, 2022

Olivia Tully

Level 3 FTA – Powered by Nike Learner, 18-year-old Olivia Tully from London, is awarded ‘Pre-Apprenticeship Learner of the Year 2022’    

Olivia has overcome significant barriers in her life to succeed in her apprenticeship, and this award is given to recognise and celebrate her inspirational story. 


Facing Challenges  

At secondary school, Olivia was a promising young student, even described as a bit of an “overachiever”. Indeed, anyone who speaks to her will quickly agree that she is articulate, thoughtful and bright. However, at a young age her mental health began to decline, forcing her to leave school at the beginning of Year 10. Faced with anxiety, PTSD, depression, ADHD, Tourette syndrome and body dysmorphia, Olivia became withdrawn – her time occupied by therapy and trying out different medications. Before long she noticed that her physical health had been neglected, so she started to use fitness to improve both her physical and mental wellbeing.  

“It was something I really enjoyed. I ended up loving doing it.”

With her health improving, she felt able to attend College until the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted the course. Olivia started to look up personal trainer courses amidst the pandemic. Seeing first-hand the positive impact of how personal fitness can affect both mental and physical health, Olivia wanted to bring her understanding to the industry and discovered the 2-year Fitness Training Academy – Powered by Nike.  

Finding A Place 

Realising that it was partnered with Central YMCA helped Olivia feel that this was the course for her, as she says YMCA “had already helped me a lot with my mental health struggles”. This apprenticeship’s synergy of mental and physical education mirrored her own burgeoning approach to health as something holistic – that there was no isolated component to fitness, and that improving the body could help to improve the mind.  

“The course has enabled me to get back into education without feeling like I was behind or out of place from leaving school early. It also gave me an opportunity to have a career in something that I’m passionate about and that will continue to help my mental health and confidence.” 

Since enrolling on the course, and despite having constant interruptions to her education, Olivia has shown commendable aptitude and drive. Her tutors have been impressed with her ability to pull from her own experiences to holistically think about fitness in terms of physical and mental health, and she wishes to offer experienced support to others suffering with mental health conditions.  

Olivia has found a place at Central YMCA, and tutors have seen a huge change in her confidence and positivity. She can now travel by herself, is more open with others, and feels that she has access to better opportunities. 

“I have been able to meet loads of cool people and be accepted, which was nice. My confidence has gone up a lot, and it’s given me more hope for the future. I don’t feel different all the time and I’m building confidence in teaching others.” 


Looking to the Future  

Olivia now has a Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness and Exercise Instruction, and is currently working towards her Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, Sport Conditioning and Outdoor Fitness on the FTA course in London. She is very excited about a career using the skills she has gained.  


About Apprenticeships 

Inspired by Olivia’s story? Could you benefit from an apprenticeship?  

Apprenticeships are for anyone aged between 16 and 65 and can help someone starting their career, wanting a change or looking to upskill in their current job. Find out more