To coincide with this momentous sporting event, Aldermore pays tribute to the inspiring SMEs in the sports and fitness sector that are helping the nation stay healthy.
Founded in 2008, Capital Cycles has small business values at its core, run by fitness enthusiast Hamish Barclay, who also runs health brand Bodyism and promises: "As a small local business we focus on friendly, honest, personal service. When you call or email it comes straight through to me."
The online retailer sells a range of bicycles, cycling accessories and sports clothing, with a major focus on championing other small businesses, stocking quality niche bike brands alongside more popular industry names.
The Running Bug
The Running Bug is billed as the UK's fastest growing online running community, currently achieving a 200 per cent year on year growth rate to reach 150,000 runners ever month in the UK, just five years after it first launched.
Founded by running fanatic 'Sandman' Joe, who acquired his nickname after completing the challenging Marathon Des Sables a second time, the site aims to inspire the British public to lead an active lifestyle, through event news, training advice and a members' forum.
Owing to its recent success, the brand has even launched a sister site for cyclists in 2014, named The Cycling Bug.
Xtreme Boot Camps
In 2013, mother and son team Zoe and James Evans spotted a gap in the market for a series of high-octane outdoor workout classes and camps run by real military professionals, aiming to recreate the intensity of military training.
Offering lower overheads than traditional gym classes and with the benefits of a team environment, the business has already grown to include six personal trainers, running camps in five different locations across the midlands. "There is undoubtedly an appetite for training outdoors and a greater enthusiasm to try something new," reports co-founder Zoe Evans.
King of Watersports
Co-founder Gavin Kernan's passion for kite surfing led him to quit his job selling mobile phone solutions and embark on a business of his own from his attic. Six years later, King of Watersports has become the UK's largest online water-sports retailer, selling kit for a range of sports including kite surfing, kayaking and wakeboarding.
Realising the importance of hydration, but worried by the environmental impact of disposable water bottles, in 2008 inventor Guy Jeremiah came up with an idea for a collapsible water bottle, as a space-saving, lightweight option for drinking water on-the-go.
Despite dismissive comments from the judges on BBC's Dragons Den, the entrepreneur has gone on to achieve great success with his OhYo bottle concept, gaining space on the shelves at Boots and Marks and Spencers and selling in 15 international markets.
Aldermore is proud to see these budding British businesses creating a healthier UK society, representing just one of the ways UK SMEs unite the local communities they belong to while driving the economy forward.
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