Samantha McGowan - Bee More Manchester - 010
Sam started doing gymnastics when she was only 6 years old, so she was always active from an early age, just more from a sports perspective. She carried the gymnastics on until she was 24 when a snapped achilles meant it was probably time to stop doing back flips.
Sam admits that after this injury, being British champion at 14 years old to then almost not having an identity again was tough.
Sam was originally from Crewe, not going to university meant she got a job in a call centre and was looking to start out on a new path. Although not what she wanted to do forever, this job really taught her a lot. Especially resilience.
For those that aren’t familiar with the series, I’ve decided to do a take on ‘Humans of New York’ but for people who call Manchester home.
Bee more MCR will try and tell the story of this incredible city and all the people of Manchester, #peopleofmcr, who contribute to it being the fastest growing city in Europe.
So how does this work? I will get each person to tell me their story in their own words of how they got to where they are today. I will share that story along with some photos for context.
Each person featured will then be asked the same question – Why Manchester?
After the call centre job, Sam moved on to an events agency where she would book bands for events and weddings. Eventually Sam worked her way up to run the small agency on behalf of the owners.
During this time, Sam would come to Manchester to visit one of her friends who lived in a converted mill in Castlefield and pretty much fell in love with the place.
After moving to Manchester, Sam then started to work at the gym company Ultimate Performance (UP), where things really started to change for her.
Like me, Sam admits that she is generally good at a number of things but there’s no one thing where she would say that she is the best at, or most passionate about. This can generally be a problem for entrepreneurial or driven people when you are told to concentrate on your passion and what you are best at.
What’s crazy is, Sam was never really a fan of the gym. But following the UP transformation program while she worked there, it definitely changed how she looked at the gym.
It wasn’t just a room full of weights and equipment, it was genuinely a career for people, changing their lives and helping them to achieve goals that they had set.
She remembers clients even changing careers and coming out of retirement, just because of how good they felt training regularly, losing weight or becoming healthier.
Sam grew up in a council house and never really had the option of a healthy lifestyle, given how expensive it can be. This was the big driving factor for her on a mission to try and help her family to become fitter and healthier.
This led to more people following her on social media and eventually asking for training programs and personal training.
During this time she moved to My Protein, eventually becoming the Head of Marketing for Bars and Snacks. Getting her dream job and title was the lightbulb moment that actually made her realise she wanted to go it alone in March 2018.
After enrolling for the personal training qualifications and handing her notice in at My Protein, she started to work for Lovin Manchester, now Proper MCR, so she had more time to study.
While she was studying, she was built up a network through social media of people looking for personal training.
By September 2018 she had gone full time.
Sam had always worn Under Armour and respected what they do as a brand.
I see it on social media all the time. Unfortunately with things like Love Island, fitness has become more about the glamour and how good an arse looks in a pair of leggings, rather than the actual health, fitness and training. (In my opinion)
Sam always wanted to work with Under Armour given they are the polar opposite to this, with a focus solely on training.
It all started when Sports Direct wanted to rebrand to focus on training alongside Under Armour, asking people like Sam to put a short video together to explain what fitness meant to them.
They really liked what she produced, shortlisting her for a potential sponsorship deal with Under Armour.
Sam was successful and is now one of the faces of the brand!
What’s pretty amazing is that back in the day, Sam used to work in Sports Direct and now she is literally plastered all over their stores in Under Armour gear.
When asked Why Manchester?
Sam said she loves Manchester because she never really thought that she could live in a city centre, preferring the countryside.
London always felt too big but for her, Manchester is a city with a community feel. Manchester has become more of a home for her than Crewe ever was. She loves being able to bump into people she knows but still in a city centre environment.
Literally as she said this, we saw someone she knew through the window of Grindsmith.
Really appreciate Sam sitting down with me to do the interview.
Make sure you check Sam out on social media to see what she gets up to in the future, or the window’s of Sports Direct, or adverts on Sky Sports! @samsays_pt