core concept

Who’s who

Meet the Instructors and the Team


Samantha Armstrong started Coreconcept Nordic Walking in 2008 when no one else had heard of it whilst bringing up her two girls, one who has a serious disability. This helped Samantha cope with the daily stress she was under whilst caring for her daughter and still does, although now it keeps her extremely busy running a full-time business. It grew from a very small enterprise to a large community of walkers joining us every week for regular exercise and at all levels. She is experienced in leading groups for Adventure Walks groups and is a qualified Hill and Moorland Leader with Mountain Training. Her aim is for you to enjoy the outdoors whilst exercising and meeting like minded people, improve your fitness levels, and enjoy your green landscape in the beautiful surroundings and to be empowered by the experience. Using our knowledge and background experience from the fitness industry we can incorporate this into the regular sessions making sure that you have a safe and effective session whatever level you are. Since being an Instructor Samantha has seen many positive changes in her clients from weight loss, shape change, gaining more confidence, mental health improvements and emotional strength, new friendships, rekindled old friendships.  We share, we laugh and we keep fit and enjoy life to the full with lots of energy!


June Holden – Instructor Brand Ambassador. Recently become an Instructor after wanting to pursue her love of Nordic Walking. June has always enjoyed sport and this forms a major part of her life having played competitive tennis, enjoyed many years of horse riding, training and cycling, June’s knees have started to rebel against all this activity. It was in 2009 June started Nordic Walking with Sam and has never looked back and loves it. Walking with the poles has provided support for the knees and back, both areas are now much stronger. June feels fitter and able to tackle any hill which she could not have done before starting Nordic Walking. June is amazed and cannot quite believe the miles she has walked, the places and countries she has visited. At the same time the spectacular scenery and the camaraderie of being with fellow walkers is second to none. June gets immense satisfaction from seeing other people develop their fitness and as a result improve in their confidence. It is an excellent way to relax,  meet new people who are friendly and fun to be with, but at the same time keep fit. Perfect.


Janneke Gorzeman – Instructor Brand Ambassador

Janneke started Nordic walking 8 years ago with us when she moved into Thorpe. She has always been active but wanted to do an outdoors activity with the Peak District on our doorstep. Since then she has trained to be an Instructor and has been running her own business for several years now. Janneke has joined us here at Coreconcept as a Brand Ambassador linking her range of walks around Thorpe in The White Peaks and the Staffordshire boarders on our booking system, making an even wider range of walks to choose from using your Freedom Passports.


Jacky Brown – Walk leader has been Nordic Walking for just over 6 years with Samantha after walking for pleasure for many years previous to that with a friend who had had a stroke and wanted to go to the gym. She suggested looking at the countryside for exercise as it would be far more pleasurable. Just after year of walking with Samantha she was leading a Monday evening class, in the dark through the winter and around the streets of Ashbourne and has been doing ever since, enjoying torch lit winter evenings long and bright Summer evenings. Jacky has never looked back and amazes herself all the time on the distances she walks, thinking back to the time she would never have considered walking to any of the villages surrounding Ashbourne and now she does them on a regular occurrence. Nordic walking is a great pass time, and an excellent form of exercise, fresh air, beautiful scenery and the best company. So although my walking started off as helping a friend get over a stroke it turn out to be the best stroke of luck for me.


Julia Gartside – Walk Leader has been Nordic Walking with Samantha for five years.  I was not a walker or particularly active but with weight gain, arthritis and retirement on the horizon I finally took myself in hand after reading an article about Nordic Walking and gave it a go.  Like so many other people I found it addictive and have never looked back. Now my arthritis is manageable with sensible eating and exercise, I’ve lost weight and changed shape without really trying, have met some wonderful people who have become firm friends and discovered the beautiful countryside in Derbyshire and well beyond.  I’m fitter and happier than I’ve ever been.  I’m out walking in all weathers and still surprise myself with the distances I walk, the terrain I’m tackling and the challenges I’m prepared to take on.  For me Nordic Walking has been a real life changer and a day without my walking poles is a day wasted.


alison-beckAlison Beck – Instructor thought it was time to make a conscious decision to stop running and hang up her trainers.
I had read a lot about Nordic Walking and had wanted to try it for several years but never quite got around to it. When Vera (Sam’s van)  pulled up and parked in front of me one day I took it as a sign to find out more about Core Concept, I went straight home and looked at the website. There was no looking back, I booked onto a taster and the following week I was doing the first session of the Learn to NW.
I’ve been walking regularly ever since and the difference it has made to my fitness level has amazed me. I started a Pilates class at the same time and found the two compliment each other very well. I can now walk longer distances again and move with ease.
I love Nordic Walking, I go out on my own for an hours keep fit exercise some mornings before work, that beats going to the gym. I also enjoy the social side of walking with a group and meeting new people and have loved joining the walks. I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to take up the role of Walk Leader and although I work three days a week and the time I can offer is limited I feel I have much to offer the team at Core Concept and look forward to becoming more involved over time.

martynMartyn Palmer – Instructor and Wellbeing support has always been a ‘walker’, he lives in Derby and frequently  walks  in the Peak District , and  South Derbyshire. With regular walking trips  to Snowdonia , the Lake District, and other places in Britain.     Exmoor is a big favourite of his,  loving the mix of coast, woodland and moor
Caving, Running, Horse Riding, and Gundog Training are some of the other activities Martyn has enjoyed over the years.
Martyn decided to see what Nordic Walking  was all about,  and so completed the ‘learn to Nordic Walk’ training  with Sam Armstrong. He was hooked, and  now rarely goes on a walk without his walking  poles, turning his morning  dog walk in the local  park into a Nordic Walk.  As well as regularly  taking part in the walks organised by  Core Concept,  he now  takes his Nordic Walking poles on his own  walks in the Peak District and elsewhere.


wendy-shiresWendy Shires – Walk Leader has been Nordic walking with Sam for nearly 10 years now. It has always been important for me to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle in order to remain fit and strong. I am Pilates trained and enjoy many forms of exercise but Nordic walking really does tick all the boxes for me. The benefits are enormous. We walk in all weathers and being outside in the fresh air with like-minded people promotes a positive state of mind. The use of the poles means Nordic walking works the upper body, promotes good posture and helps maintain a healthy weight. The classes are friendly and above all fun.


colinColin McLean – Walk Leader was introduced to Nordic walking with Samantha and Coreconcept Nordic Walking during 2016.  Colin has enjoyed an active lifestyle for many years and was keen to add Nordic Walking to his weekly programme.  Nordic Walking with the XS class for Colin has brought the gym outside (whatever the weather) and provides the all round sport conditioning that complements his other outdoor activities.  An enthusiastic age group triathlete, over the last 8 years, Colin has competed at all of the Triathlon distances including in 2015, the 140.6 mile “Copenhagen Ironman” swim, bike and run course.  I enjoy being physically active and for me Nordic Walking with Coreconcept has provided not just an active workout but the opportunity to be in the company of like-minded people enjoying being out and about in our local countryside.


john-greeneJohn Greene – Walk Leader has been a keen walker since his day’s in the Boy Scouts where he enjoyed earning badges
for walking activities. He restarted serious walking again twenty-five years ago with his village friends, walking in the Lake District, Snowdonia  and of course Derbyshire. Over many years he has kept up with regular walking with his wife Gay, especially since their two children flew the nest. Four years ago they were looking for a new challenge in their retirement years and found the wonders of Nordic Walking. John started by taking part in the monthly Adventure walks, these were at the time mostly attended by ladies, with few other men in the group, he was often asked by passing walkers if he was chaperoning the group of up to sixteen ladies. The group has changed considerably now with many more men joining the walks and classes.
It soon occurred to me that there was an opportunity to recored the walks through my interest in photography. Many of the walks have provided spectacular scenery as well as interesting
sights, animals and of course local flora. The main purpose has always been to record the great fun we all have whilst walking together.
Nordic walking has proved a great way of having fun, exercising and at the same time enjoying the great benefits both mentally and physically of taking part with other walkers in this wonderful and friendly organisation. I am now looking forward to helping and encouraging others in this fulfilling and exhilarating pastime.