Bradwell mum hoping to take pole sport to the Olympics
PUBLISHED: 16:29 11 May 2015 | UPDATED: 16:29 11 May 2015
Copyright: Barkers Photographic Ltd
It is an amazing all-over body workout that is shaking off its sleazy image.
And now Norfolk’s first pole sport fanatic is hoping it will become an Olympic discipline commanding the same level of respect and approval given to mainstream medal-winning gymnasts and athletes.
Demanding extraordinary strength, agility, speed and power Kathy Buller is passionate about the sport she says has all the technical difficulty and artistry of more accepted fields.
The 43-year-old from Bradwell has been named among competition judges who will decide the winners at this year’s world pole sport competition being staged at London’s Crystal Palace in July.
There she will cast her eye over up to 50 competitors vying for top honours in a range of categories including elite women and men, over 50s, youth, and doubles - with thousands watching.
Mrs Buller said the sport was being taken very seriously with competitors training hard to perfect their routines to include compulsory moves as well as muscle-straining contortions of their own creation.
The bigger prize, however, would be to get official recognition for the sport from Sport England and ultimately the Olympic board - a process which although well-advanced is still set to take eight to 12 years.
“In this country pole has this connotation and stereotypical image and we want to be taken seriously and are trying to disperse that. It is not just a girl on a pole. There are strict rules and regulations that we have to adhere to and judges are trained to a really high standard. It is the same as gymnastics and that had to be recognised as a sport too.”
Fourteen years ago Mrs Buller was the only person teaching pole in Norfolk after seeing a demonstration at a convention.
Coming from a gymnastic and dance background she was stunned by what could be achieved with women of all ages able to hold themselves laterally from the pole thanks to incredible core strength built up from practising on the apparatus.
“This is a sport you can do no matter what your age,” she said. “It is completely across the board. As a lady in my 40s I find it amazing that I can keep up with it and keep up my strength.”
Mrs Buller travelled to Newcastle at the weekend in her capacity as president of Pole Sports UK, a not-for-profit company which was hosting the national championships.The The mother of two teenage children who have also mastered the pole teaches 40 classes a week at her eight-pole studio in Norwich, Pole Fusion.