From July 1 – 22 2021, one of our fabulous Pukka Pilates teachers, Laura Porro, will be conducting weekly live webinars on Thursday evenings from 7:00-10:00 p.m. UK time. During this time, she will go through the Four modules of the Cancer Exercise Specialist Advanced Qualification.

Open to anyone in the fitness industry, from PT’s to Pilates teachers, the training and course will equip you with the knowledge, tools and techniques to effectively train people at any stage of cancer treatment.
Laura did the course during the first lockdown and has found it to be invaluable. She now wants to help other trainers enhance their teaching.

We had a chat with her to find out more.

Why did you decide to do the course?

Deciding to attend this course is a classic example of how coincidences and circumstances sometimes align for the best. During Spring 2020, we faced our first national lockdown. I was spending much more time on social media, connecting with people I could not see and reaching out to those I had not seen in a while.

A colleague from the US recommended the course to me. I had not heard of it before but once I saw the curriculum I knew it was right for me: I specialise in 1-1 work, and the course had the perfect balance of anatomy / medical depth and practical application.

Initially I was skeptical to attend a course open to all fitness professionals, rather than purely for Pilates teachers, but I decided to follow my colleague’s recommendation and I’m glad I did. During the sessions I met yoga teachers, physiotherapists, personal trainers, osteopaths, clinical professionals and of course other Pilates teachers, which enriched the learning experience as I was able to see different perspectives and approaches to training, and incorporate them into my own practice.

How has working with clients with cancer affected their health?

Since qualifying, I have been working with Trekstock charity, which supports young adults with cancer. I teach a regular Pilates group class and the qualification has given me the knowledge to run a safe session that takes into account the specific needs of people who are undergoing cancer treatment or have had it in the past.

The feedback I have got from attendees to my classes has shown the difference specialist cancer exercise can make. The course has taught me how to take care of them holistically as individuals, not just in terms of their physical bodies:


“It was at an ability where I could cope with the class. I tried a different Pilates class and was very overwhelmed but this one was great as the instructor had accounted for our needs. It was great!”
“The class had a lovely atmosphere. I’ve really benefited physically from some of the stretches and movements.”
When asked whether the class had an impact on anything else, they said:
“My outlook is more positive”
“Put me in a good head space to want to do more activities”
“Best sleep in days”

I was delighted to see that 75% of participants stated feeling more confident about getting physically active safely after attending.

What are the benefits to fitness professionals of booking onto the course?

The course will benefit instructors/teachers in several ways:

– You will be able to support a group of people who face incredible challenges and make their lives a bit better – consider that people living with cancer have also experienced missed / delayed treatments, delayed diagnoses and longer waiting lists due to the impact of the pandemic on services, so they need help and they need it sooner rather than later
– You will be able to build a market for yourself: you can become the point of reference for cancer patients in your area, connecting with local voluntary & community sector cancer groups / organisations, GPs, physiotherapists and hospitals
– Research shows that the number of people diagnosed with cancer will increase between now and 2035, so your skills will continue to be in demand

How long does the course take to complete?

There are 12 hours of tuition (four 3-hour seminars), delivered virtually. The study hours are estimated between 35 and 40, but every person is different. The key advantages of this course compared to others are:

– You have six months from the start of the course to get to the exam: so whether you are working, studying, taking care of family, travelling or anything else, you will be able to fit the study in around your commitments.
– The seminars are recorded, so if you cannot make the live sessions you will be able to catch up in your own time.

How is the course structured?

There are two components:

– a case study
– a 125-question online exam

There are quizzes throughout the course that help you prepare for the online exam, and, as the lead tutor for the course, I will help you prepare the case study.

Like any other professional qualification, you need to keep it up to date. The course content is regularly updated to reflect the latest scientific evidence and discoveries. Cancer research is fast evolving and our approaches must embrace what scientists say is best practice.

How much does it cost?

£650 and for a limited time there is a 15% early bird discount!

Is the course nationally recognised?

The course is recognised by several associations in and outside the UK, including:


Each of these bodies will give you continuing education credits. CIMSPA gives 10.

What is your role?

I am teaching the course over four 3-hour sessions. These are recorded so if you cannot make it live, you can watch them in your own time. You can also contact me throughout the course, to prepare for the exam and beyond, and to take the first steps in this new field for them. Once you have completed the exam, you will join a large community of alumni, which encompasses everyone who has done it around the world. You can ask anything to the community, not just practical advice to work with your clients, but also to set up your business and network.

Contact Laura for more information and to get the early bird rate on 07868573547 or

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