"First you need to survive but life changes when you got a job. Keep challenging yourself!"
Rojimon’s story began in 2004 when he moved to the UK from India. Back in his home country he accomplished a Bachelor’s degree with honours in Accounting and Finance subject. However it was difficult for him to find a job in the UK in his profession as his English language skills weren’t sufficient at that time. He worked as a security guard, then as porter at the hotel and kept learning English. First you need to survive, he recalls. Having his brother and parents living in Manchester and Liverpool, he visited couple of places in the UK before he finally decided to live in Cambridge. Here he found people respecting each other, many of them being more academic-related and open to diversity. Maybe the life expenses are higher, but so is the quality of life, he smiles. And life changes when you got a job, he adds.
Half is in your brain, half is in your body
In the mean time, Rojimon was improving his English and did a fitness course. This has gave him a new perspective – staying fit was simultaneously good for him and for the people he could coach. Rojimon carried on with next courses (Level 2 and 3) to become a fitness instructor and personal trainer, getting a permanent position at Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre near Parker’s Piece 4 years now. He works with various groups of people, including disabilities and special needs, showing not only how to do the workouts, but also offers healthy dietary advice and personalised set of workouts to increase the weight gradually without an injury. If you’re saying: “I can do it!” - you will manage. Rojimon himself is a great role model – he loves to stay active. Live is very short so we need to stay happy and fit, he adds, showing me his display cabinet filled with twinkling gold, silver and bronze spots from medals, cups and trophies which Rojimon won in various disciplines from long and high jump, through tennis up to marathons from all around the UK.
Speaking – that’s a real challenge
Rojimon had learned English before he moved to the UK, but points out that speaking is a real challenge. One can read and write if he knows the letters and words, one can listen and even understand but talking to people – that is a different story. After moving to Cambirdge Rojimon met one of the C-ELS teachers at Cambridge University and was invited to join the C-ELS SPEAK Programme. After one course he continued with another, and gradually improved in his speaking skills. After 2-3 years Rojimon was able to speak confidently and fluently but taking it as a continuous learning curve, he keeps learning all the time. Therefore during the 3rd national lockdown he rejoined the classes run over Zoom – to meet the others, to develop language speaking skills so valuable in his professional life. A big thank you, C-ELS - only for the party at the end of the course we will need to wait a bit longer, he laughs.
Run 1 mile today to try 1.5 mile tomorrow
The beginning in the UK was very difficult for Rojimon as he didn’t know the language and people. He mentions annoyance, worrying, struggling. But he found the way out - you need to learn the language first – there is no other option. And he wants to be better and better at speaking in order to inspire the others and share his happiness with others. Keep challenging yourself, that’s the point.