Pod­plus moves fast to gain firm foothold

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - RECRUITMENT & BUSINESS - by Mike Ben­nett

BE­ING ac­tive in Kent has won an Ash­ford com­pany the 2007 Young En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Award.

The awards din­ner at Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral brought to­gether schools from across the county, ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness direc­tors and win­ners Kate and Tom Austen, founders of the Pod­plus track­side shop and clinic at the Julie Rose Sta­dium.

Pod­plus opened its doors at the Julie Rose Sta­dium just over 18 months ago, sell­ing prod­ucts de­signed for ac­tiv­ity and run­ning, along­side a high tech­nol­ogy shoe fit­ting ser­vice link­ing up a tread­mill, lap­top and cam­era in store. The busi­ness also has health pro­fes­sion­als of­fer­ing chi­ropody, po­di­a­try and sports mas­sage.

Tom prac­tises po­di­a­try at the clinic, ad­vis­ing on all lower limb me­chan­ics, growth prob­lems, and foot in­juries and ail­ments.

Kate man­ages their grow­ing team of five staff, and the daily run­ning of the busi­ness.

Speak­ing at the awards she said: “It took a year of re­search, a well thought out plan, sup­port from the Prince’s Trust and con­tin­ued en­thu­si­asm and op­ti­mism to get here. We are so pleased”.

The award was spon­sored by the Kent In­sti­tute of Direc­tors and pre­sented by chair­man Frazer Thompson to the cou­ple, who were cho­sen from Prince’s Trust busi­nesses dis­play­ing at the Kent County Show in 2006.

Kate and Tom Austen with Frazer Thompson

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1176067

Sta­tion mas­ter Michael Hick­mott with Laura Sim­mons from Rye tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre at the tourism fair at the Kent and East Sus­sex Rail­way

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