Champion dispels stigma attached to sport

Shelley Blundell won her category in the British Pole Superstar Championships.

Shelley Blundell won her category in the British Pole Superstar Championships.

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IT’S enough to make you reach for the TV remote and put your feet up...

You won’t be seeing ultra-flexible Shelley Blundell dancing on a podium inside one of Blackpool’s nightspots anytime soon, as her hobby, which has twice seen her crowned a winner in the sport, is done purely on a fitness level.

Shelley Blundell won her category in the British Pole Superstar Championships.

Shelley Blundell won her category in the British Pole Superstar Championships.

And as more women and men turn to pole fitness to boost their strength and flexibility, Shelley is keen to try and bust the stigma attached to the pole.

She said: “I still blush when I talk to people about what I do, but it’s certainly not pole dancing as everybody knows it. It’s absolutely nothing like that.

“It’s all based around fitness, not dancing, and it is just like going into a fitness class.”

Shelley, 38, has a history in gymnastics, but gave it up more than 10 years ago and was looking for a way to get back into a fitness regime.

Not interested with standard gym and fitness classes, she looking into pole fitness three-and-a-half years ago and hasn’t looked back.

In July she entered her first competition, and came away winner of the Northern Pole Princess.

And this month she entered the British Pole Superstar Championships in Blackburn, where she won the advanced category with a routine she choreographed herself.

“I just went out there to do my best and do what I wanted to do,” she said.

“I did mess up a couple of times during the routine and I didn’t perform as well as I should have done, so I was really shocked and made up when they said I’d won.”

Shelley, of Stonyhill Avenue, South Shore, was up against seven other pole performers from around the country, and was judged on the way she executed the routine and its fluidity.

She said: “I will be doing pole fitness for as long as I can, depending on how long my body holds out.

“It’s something I’ve become addicted to.”

Shelley trains at ECN Body Works on Chiswick Grove, Blackpool, and says its owner, Emma Colsey-Nichols, is responsible for her success.

She added: “Emma helped me with my routine and pushed me to go into the competitions.

“I couldn’t have done this without her.”

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