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Pole Dancers from Universities all over the UK headed to Cardiff University at the weekend for the Inaugural Inter-Universities Pole Championships. Held in the Great Hall of Cardiff Universities Students Union, the competition aimed to showcase the growing number of pole dance societies across UK Universities and show the UK how pole fitness has developed as a sport. Competitors were asked to enter in five different categories – Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, Instructor and Team Entry. After a hard fought competition, the combined team from the University of the West of England and Bristol University left with 9 out of a possible 12 medals – including the award for ‘Overall Champions’. Kate Czepulkowski, President of the UWE Pole Society said ‘it was a fantastic event, a great way to meet other pole dance societies across the UK and the UWE/Bristol team really performed and we can’t believe how many medals we won!’ Bex Brady, winner of the Advanced Category for Bristol University said ‘I can’t believe I won! I was nervous going on stage, but pole fitness has really helped to develop my confidence as well as my strength, fitness and flexibility – I gave it everything I had!’ The UWE and Bristol Pole Dance Societies were started in 2009 by Kate Johnstone, Director of Spin City Pole Fitness in Bristol. She said: “Pole dance is a highly-skilled activity that requires strength, poise and grace. It’s also great for burning calories and extremely good fun. Here at Spin City, we teach ladies of all ages and all shapes and sizes and everyone leaves with a smile on their face.” Kate Johnstone formed Spin City in 2007 with the aim of getting more women back into exercise. A fully-qualified fitness instructor, she started teaching in Cannons Health and Fitness and now holds classes from beginner to advanced level, in her two dedicated studios, based in Clifton. Pole dance has become a popular form of exercise that burns more than 300 calories an hour with Spin City, which runs free taster sessions every Friday from 6-7pm.