Hi there. I'm Chris Howard.
I have been involved in sport from about the age of 8. I represented Nuneaton swimming club at District and county level for several years and I believe it was the swimming that gave me a baseline of fitness that I would take into my football career years later. I loved the social aspect of sport right from the start and have made lifelong friends through it.
I was scouted for Leicester City’s academy at the age of 9 whilst playing for Nuneaton boys club and progressed through the age group’s to eventually sign my first professional contract at 16 years old in 2001. I made over 60 appearances for the under 17,18 and 19 academy teams and 6 appearances in the FA youth cup. I made 36 appearances for the Reserve team in the Barclays premier reserve league and 2 pre-season friendly appearances for the first team. As well as regularly training with and alongside the first team, I took part in Pre-season fitness training camps both in the UK and abroad.
Unfortunately, at 18 years old a recurring knee injury cut short my career with Leicester City. I had brief spells with Grimsby town and Mansfield town before dropping down into semi-professional football with Alfreton Town. The same Knee injury again resurfaced in 2009 and at the age of 23 I retired from Semi-professional football on the advice of knee specialists.
I have worked in Education for over 10 years in both mainstream and alternative provision settings. My roles as learning mentor, key worker, head of year 9 and 10 and most recently deputy safeguarding lead at Solihull academy have involved working with students who have been excluded from school or at risk of permanent exclusion.
In 2015 I became Vice-Principal of the Pauline Quirke academy of performing arts in Coventry and shortly afterwards Nuneaton & Hinckley and Loughborough.
My wife and I co-run four academies and although my background isn’t in performing arts it was a role again working with amazing, super talented and motivated children. What Performing arts and exercise/fitness each share is their ability to empower and raise confidence levels.
Junior Fitness Squad was born out of a combination of both of my passions, keeping fit and healthy and working with children. I am a qualified personal trainer and level 4 strength and conditioning coach along side qualifications in Talent identification in football and elite player care within a football club. I strongly believe that exercise can play a huge part in a person’s self-esteem and confidence which is so important for our children and the younger generation. Feeling good about ourselves and happy in the skin we are in is something I feel hugely passionate about.
JFS will provide a safe space for children to have fun, play games and exercise to music with the aim of feeling good in a positive environment without judgement. Motivating children to be healthy and enjoy exercise with a smile on their face is what we are all about.