An Egremont woman has launched her own line of gym clothes after noticing a gap in the market while on maternity leave.

Katie Jones set up her own business, Strength Athletics Clothing, with a focus on comfortable gym wear for women that promotes female-inspired designs.

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 suitable gym clothes for women, so decided to create her own, after having her daughter, Darcey.

Katie said: "Me and my husband were having a bit of a chat. He was talking about gaps in the market for gym clothes.

"I just said I would love to be able to get a pair of shorts that are a decent length and not skin tight. They're always really short. It just snowballed from there really.

"Because I've been on maternity leave, I've been looking into it a bit more. I've got a few t-shirt designs done. The shorts are in production at the moment.

"It's female inspired. I've got women on the t-shirts.

"Rather than being skin tight, they're a men's fit. I always wear my husband's t-shirts, so I went for a men's baggy fit."

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

The pair, who met at a body weights class, want to encourage young girls to play sport and keep fit, following their own experiences as teenagers.

Katie explained: "There are so many girls that drop out of sports and fitness in secondary school. I was one of those.

"When I was younger I played football, but as a teenager, like most girls, I dropped out in secondary school because it was perceived as a male dominated sport.

"Thankfully, I picked it up again when I was about 18. Since then I've continued to play football.

"I do a little bit of cross fit. I've switched to Strong Man training at the moment.

"Sarah likes weightlifting, but back then it wasn't something women did. It's the same sort of thing – she was weightlifting and I was football.

"She's trying to promote that women can lift weights as well."

The pair will offer four young girls a three-month free gym membership at Empire Sports Performance in Workington, two PT classes a week for 12 weeks with Sarah and the clothing bundle.

Katie said: "We'll try and promote it on Instagram and Facebook and then after that we would like to get into schools to encourage girls to stay in sport and not drop out.

"The more the business builds, the more we'd like to do.

"We're both on the same wavelength, both trying to establish a business but both felt passionate about girls dropping out of sports at secondary school because we both fell into that category ourselves."

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