St Helens Star Best Of 2022, Top Six Gym & Fitness Instructors Revealed

NOMINATIONS have been rolling in over the weekend for the best gym or fitness instructor in St. Helens, and it’s time to reveal our list.

After launching our new Best of 2022 competition on the St Helens Star at the end of April, we wanted to find out who you think is the best gym or fitness instructor.

The Secret Halo was the first winner in our Best of 2022 competition when Gemma Owen took the Best for Hair title.

Then came Burchall’s with owner John Burchall’s family business making the best cake in St Helens and Samantha Houghton’s Envy Nails and Beauty is officially Best for Nails.

The latest round of voting took place last weekend as we searched for the best pub.

Now we need your help to choose the winner in the Best Gym or Fitness Instructor category from our eight shortlisted nominees.

There are three ways to vote:

1. Look for the Best Of post on our St Helens Star Facebook or Instagram pages and comment below the post with your winner’s name = 1 vote

2. Name your favorite in the comments section of this article via our website = 2 votes

3. Buy a copy of this week’s St Helens Star (26 May issue) and complete the entry form = 5 votes

(*Note: For newspaper entries, please email a screenshot of the completed entry form to – please note that only original copies will be accepted. More than one entry per person may be submitted , but you will be asked to provide your own unique reference code for each entry to avoid duplication, for example if your name is Smith you can write Smith123 or HS21!

Voting officially opens today, Thursday, and closes at midnight on Monday, and we’ll announce the winner next week.

Keep an eye out for our next Best Of call on our social media pages on Friday.


Ashley-James Ward of Award Health and Fitness

We were inundated with nominations for Ashley-James, making him a popular pick for our shortlist.

“A really motivated instructor with excellent classes”, Ashley-James and her team appreciate the time and effort put into the gym.

One nomination said: “Award Health and Fitness is a brilliant place for all your fitness needs.

“The time, effort and dedication that Ashley-James Ward puts into the classes is second to none.

“Ash will take you further than you thought possible, but the results are definitely worth it.”

Another dedicated customer said, “During a rough time in my life, Award Health and Fitness helped me in more ways than one with my fitness and mental health.

“I will always be indebted to him for his true passion for fitness and his personal touch.

“It changed my life from being unhealthy and unhappy to someone who is happy and healthy.”

One customer said: “These are amazing classes and they push me beyond what I thought I was capable of.

“I have improved my fitness and have been given good advice as there is always someone available to help.

“I love the classes because I achieve so much more.”

For more details go to

Health and Fitness Award

Nicky Hegarty at NPH Fitness

When someone says he’s “the best instructor I’ve ever had,” we knew Nicky Hegarty had to be in the top six.

One client said: “It’s never the same class twice and she’s very motivating.

“It’s always inspiring and fun, but with the best results in a supportive environment.”

Another nominee said: “She transformed me and my nutrition and made me fitter than ever.

“She gives her all to her boot campers and has transformed hundreds of women over the years.

“We are totally spoiled with the investment that he has made and the amount of equipment that he has invested in.”

“Phenomenal classes” that “cater to all different fitness levels” have “changed people’s perspective on exercise.”

For more details go to



Stefan in Freestyle Fitness

Stefan’s Monday classes at Queens Park are a great success as “he is a great instructor who motivates you and offers different levels for all levels”.

One recommendation stated that everyone leaves Stefan’s classes with a big smile on their face and feeling amazing.

Another nomination read: “Monday class is absolutely fantastic.

“The music is brilliant and you can really feel the energy that Stefan has to give you a fantastic full body workout.

“His classes are always friendly and fun and he is by far the best with over twenty years of experience under his belt.”

For more details go to or

Stefan in Freestyle Fitness

Stefan in Freestyle Fitness

Jamie Clarke in Fitness XL

There was a resoundingly positive nomination for Jamie which summed up the reasons why her satisfied customers thought she should be on the shortlist.

The nomination read: “Your own personal journey is incredible after not succeeding as a personal trainer the first time you tried.

“His Instagram posts are emotional and honest, which is great to see one man in particular openly showing his own struggles.

“I feel like we need more of this to get men to show the importance of mental health and speak up.

“Jamie is positive and fantastic at what he does.

“She has endless examples of clients getting fantastic results and creating a positive environment around her.”

For more details go to

Fitness Evolution

Fitness Evolution

Leanne in Fitness Beyond the Bump

Leanne at Fitness Beyond the Bump has been praised by happy moms for her hard work during lockdown with many describing her classes as a “saving grace” and “a lifesaver”.

One nomination simply read, “She has become not only my fitness instructor, but one of my best friends!”

Another said: “Leanne is amazing and kept me sane after having my second baby during lockdown.

“She has kept me active as a mother and encourages me with every step.”

Exercising with other mums helps improve fitness levels and mental well-being, and the varied classes mean patrons look forward to attending each week.

For more details go to

Fitness beyond the pothole

Fitness beyond the pothole

Jamie-Lee Toal of Heart and Sole Ladies Fitness and Personal Training

One happy customer said: “This woman has made me feel so welcome and is always so happy and positive.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and I was petrified to fail in front of people, but it’s the complete opposite.

“It’s really amazing and now I love going.”

Another said: “Jamie-Lee has created an inclusive atmosphere where everyone wants everyone else to do their best and people encourage you to work hard.

“I don’t know where I would be without these fabulous women.”

A third said it helped her rebuild her confidence after a bad experience with another personal trainer.

She said: “He is very knowledgeable and helps you achieve results you never dreamed of.

“I got instant results and would never want to train anywhere else.

“Any goal is possible.”

For more details go to either

Heart and Sole

Heart and Sole

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