Egremont woman launches her own sportswear while on maternity leave

A woman from Egremont launched her own line of activewear after noticing a gap in the market while on maternity leave.

Katie Jones started her own business, Strength Athletics Clothing, with a focus on comfortable women’s sportswear that promotes female-inspired styles.

The 32-year-old, who works in project delivery, said her new venture was more of a passion than a career change.

She said she was frustrated with the lack of female-friendly sportswear, so she decided to make her own, after having her daughter, Darcey.

Katie said, “My husband and I were talking a bit. He was talking about the shortcomings in the sportswear market.

“I just said I wish I could have a decent length pair of shorts that didn’t stick to the skin. They’re always really short. It really snowballed from there.

“Because I was on maternity leave, I thought about it a bit more. I made a few t-shirt designs. The shorts are in production right now.

“It’s inspired by women. I have women on the t-shirts.

“Rather than being tight, they are tailored for men. I always wear my husband’s t-shirts, so I went for a loose fit for men.”

Katie also teamed up with personal trainer Sarah Mcavoy, 32, of Dynamic Performance in Workington to offer free PT classes, a gym membership and a set of clothes, aimed at girls under. 19 years old.

The couple, who met during a bodybuilding class, want to encourage young girls to play sports and stay in shape, following their own experiences as teenagers.

Katie explained, “There are so many girls who drop out of sports and fitness in high school. I was one of them.

“When I was younger I played soccer, but as a teenager, like most girls, I dropped out of high school because it was seen as a male dominated sport.

“Fortunately, I took it back around the age of 18. Since then I have continued to play football.

“I do a bit of cross fit. I have switched to Strong Man training for now.

“Sarah loves weightlifting, but back then it wasn’t something that women did. It’s the same sort of thing – she was weightlifting and I was playing football.

“She’s trying to promote the fact that women can lift weights too.”

The duo will give four young girls a free three-month membership to the Empire Sports Performance gym in Workington, two physiotherapy classes per week for 12 weeks with Sarah and the clothing set.

Katie said: “We will try to promote it on Instagram and Facebook and then we would like to go into schools to encourage girls to stay in sports and not to give up.

“The more the business grows, the more we would like to do.

“We’re both on the same page, both trying to start a business but both passionate about girls dropping out of sports in high school because we ourselves fall into that category.”

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