Do you think pole sports should become an Olympic event?
- Credit: Archant
The campaign to get pole fitness recognised as an Olympic sport is being championed from an industrial estate in Great Yarmouth.
Kathy Buller runs Pole Fusion, one of the premier pole fitness studios in the UK from the BWell gym.
As a former president of Pole Sports UK and a world championship judge, she has been making the case to get the pursuit recognised as a sport.
The Bradwell mother-of-two said while there is growing acceptance, there were still misconceptions.
She added: 'In the past I've been asked if I'm a stripper, told I shouldn't have children and have had lots of horrible letters through the door.
'We're trying to spread awareness in the UK and get people to understand that this is a sport.'
The message seems to be getting through as the body which decides what is classed as a sport, the Global Association for International Sport Federation, has granted pole sport observer status.
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This means that its governing body will be able to apply for membership of the International Olympic Committee. If accepted, it could pave the way for it to become an Olympic event.
Mrs Buller said the British 'stiff upper lip' mentality was a barrier for some people to give it a go, but it was very rewarding for men and women trying to get fit.
She added: 'It's about strength, flexibility and core strength and is similar to gymnastics in that sense.
'There is no upper age limit. It's something you get better and better at with age because you learn more of the technique.'
She said the sheer strength and athleticism required to perform shows it should be called a sport.
Mrs Buller first brought pole sports to Norfolk 15 years ago and been working in the fitness industry for 30 years.
Now she is trying to become a centre of excellence for the sport.
She added: 'We could train the British team in little old Great Yarmouth.'
The regional championships will be held in Great Yarmouth in February and she hopes more than a dozen local competitors will take part.
Pole Fusion is holding a charity show to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and Asthma UK at the Talk in Oak Street, Norwich. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.