It’s been a fantastic summer for sport in Britain, withÂ moreÂ events going on than ever before.Â Has all this talk of football, tennis and athleticsÂ made you wantÂ to get a bit fitter or take up a new activity?Â And if so,Â what’s your sport of choice? To get you inspired,Â we askedÂ four realÂ women in our publications team to share their favourite sports and tellÂ usÂ about their must-haveÂ pieces of kit.
The basketball buff: Aleasha Kimber
“I first started playingÂ basketball in primary school. Playing againstÂ my older brother and his friends gotÂ me into the gameÂ â€“ and toughened me up! I played all through high school and university, competing at regional level in my home country of New Zealand, and taking on Australia as part of the national youth squad. After a break from the game, Iâ€™ve recently taken it up again at a womenâ€™s club in northwest London.Â Iâ€™m really enjoying meeting new people and getting fitter in the process. My ideal piece of kitÂ is a breathable vest to keep me coolÂ during two hours ofÂ training.”
The super swimmer: Ann Hartland
“I learned to swim when I was four and have been taking part in competitions since I was eight. My life has always involved swimming â€“ sometimes I’ll be there at 5am, sometimes Iâ€™m still in the pool at 10pm. Some of my closest friends now are swimmersÂ I met at my club.Â I still swim competitively and earlier in the summerÂ I took partÂ in the World Masters Championships in Italy. SwimmingÂ relaxes me mentally â€“ itâ€™s a greatÂ way to wind-down from work. Itâ€™s no surpriseÂ that I own plentyÂ of sportyÂ swimming costumesÂ - I keep one inÂ my bag at all times. You never know when youâ€™ll find some water to splash around in!”
The tennis lover: Natasha Billy
“I got back into tennis about four years ago â€“ I wanted to get fitÂ again but have never been a fan of the gym, as I get bored of the same routines too quickly. My husband got me into it, but we ended up playing in different training groups. I now play both doubles and singles tennis. It’s a great social activity and IÂ love the fact thatÂ I’m exercising at the same time.Â I feel great at the endÂ of a match or training session, andÂ enjoyÂ beingÂ in the great outdoorsÂ as well.Â So far my biggest sporting achievementÂ has been winning the tennis tournament at an office family fun day! My must-haveÂ is always a comfy hoodie with pockets to keep a spare ball in.”
The riding fan: Kristi Lane
â€śI have been riding off and on since I was 10. In my 30s I started again in earnest and bought my first horse. Jasper is my third so far â€“ heâ€™s an Irish Draught x Thoroughbred cross and the apple of my eye! We compete regularly in dressage competitions â€“ at the lowest level possible but we have a lot of fun and it keeps us both fit. Apart from my specialist riding gear, my essential bit of kit is a well-fitted, supportive high-impact sports bra. Riding is very hot and active work, so breathability and comfort are very important. The outstanding success of the British dressage team this year has definitely got me feeling competitive.â€ť
Want to get more active? OfferingÂ high-performance fabrics at a down-to-earth price, ourÂ latest sportswear for womenÂ at M&SÂ hasÂ everything you need to get fit, from tracksuitsÂ and joggers to dance and yoga kit.
Have you already discovered your perfect sportÂ â€“ orÂ are youÂ feeling inspired to take up something new? And whatÂ item ofÂ sports kit wouldn’t you be without?Â Leave us a comment below…