Real Lives

A Day in the Life of a Lesiure Manager

No two days as a care professional are the same. Whether you’re a care worker, ancillary worker or care manager, each day will bring with it its own challenge and of course rewards.  Bay Erol is a Leisure Manager at Audley Villages, a retirement village provider.


Bay Erol, Leisure Manager at Audley Ellerslie.

Name, age, location, job title

Bay Erol, 32, Droitwich, Leisure Manager at Audley Ellerslie.

What does your typical day look like? (please provide a brief hourly breakdown, including how many clients you see in a day, be that owners or members of the local community)

 My day at work starts at 8.30am though I am usually up and about a good few hours before that so I can have a healthy breakfast before the day gets going. I do a morning check of all the facilities, including the gym and the pool, to ensure everything is ship shape before classes start.

My first class, at 9am, is either yoga or a pilates class. Both are very popular with the owners at Audley Ellerslie and people who live in the local area.

At 10am my personal training sessions start. I design all my one-on-one exercise programmes individually considering the owner’s specific goals, current condition, health requirements, timeframe, exercise preferences, lifestyle and of course their body composition data. Each owner’s exercise program is fully tailored to them and the results they want to achieve. We then split into short term achievable goals. This allows us to fully optimise our time together to make sure they are getting the best workout possible.

These personal training sessions take me through until lunchtime when I grab a quick bit to eat and carry out another check of the facilities to make sure everything is up to scratch ready for the busy afternoon period.

1pm usually marks the start of another class. It differs day to day, but it is usually a balance or seated dance class, both are great fun and very well attended. It’s important all my classes are fully planned and suited to the needs of those attending. We sometimes have slightly different abilities in the classes, so we are always making tweaks as we go.

From 2pm it’s time for my regular personal training sessions again. This will take up the rest of the day until a final spruce up of the facilities. Checking the pool is clean and meets the health and safety guidelines is the very last job of the day before I head home.

One of the best things about my role is how many people I get to meet and work with on a daily basis. I have at least three personal training sessions per day and between 20 and 30 people attend my group classes. As you can imagine no two days are ever really the same!

What do you do in your spare time?

I studied Physical Education at university and it continues to be my passion. I love learning about how the human body works – some people say it’s a bit nerdy but I can’t get enough. I frequently sign up to courses so that I am always learning something new.

I am also a keen gardener and footballer.

Is there anything that you do in your day to day job that people don’t realise?

 As well as the classes and personal training sessions I am in charge of the whole operation at the Leisure Club. I take care of the pool and look after the class bookings. I try and stay two steps ahead all the time which means I have excellent time management and organisational skills- even if I do say myself.

 How do people respond when you tell them what you do?

They love to hear about what I do and the incredible success stories for our owners – it’s this that really brings it to life. People go from struggling to put their socks on to being able to complete complex gym moves like deadlifts. It’s so inspiring.

 Thinking about your career, how did you get to where you are today?

It has been a long journey to get where I am today. I am from Turkey originally and studied Physical Education at university. Whilst I was studying I started working for a Turkish Premier Division football team as a fitness coach. At the same time, I was working in a Hilton as a personal trainer. I was kept very busy!

A year after my graduation, I applied to work in the USA for a prestigious wellness club. I was lucky enough to get the job and move to the states which marked a real change for me.

While I was there, I fell in love and got married. After five great years in the USA, my wife and I decided to move to the UK as my wife is originally from England. We’ve been here for three years now and I love it. I got the job at Audley Ellerslie when we moved to the UK and haven’t looked back, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever done.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

 Seeing our owners’ journeys. The most rewarding thing is undoubtedly helping our owners build their strength and fitness as well as their independence. When you look back on where they were a year ago it can be hard to believe just how far they have come. It really shows the benefits of taking part in physical activity later in life and at Audley.

I also love getting to know the owners and people from the local community. I like people to feel comfortable during their training sessions, so we have a good old chat as well.

What’s the most challenging part of the job?

The challenge for me, and it’s a good challenge, is to tailor all my client’s programmes so they match their fitness levels, needs and pushes them enough to see improvement. Everyone has different limitations and goals. You have to take lots of things into account such as hip replacements, knee replacements, number of times a week people want to train to how hard they want to push themselves.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

None of the work I do would be possible without the open minds of the incredible owners who live at Audley Ellerslie or the staff. Exercise, especially for those who haven’t done it for several years, can be hugely daunting but it’s my job to make it less scary. I would encourage everyone to try out different things as they get older, the benefits are significant, and you might just discover a newfound love of weightlifting!



Edel Harris





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