Some may look at Pole Fitness and argue that it is not a sport, but at all levels of skill this pastime requires strength, talent, and determination – isn’t that what all sports require? Despite the stigma attached to pole what I saw on Derby Day was nothing less than impressive.The categories of the competition went in order from Beginner, Intermediate, to Advanced, all competitors demonstrating varying skills on both a static and a spinning pole, and as the level of skill grew so did the awe of those watching.

However, it was not only a competitors skill on the pole that was marked but their fluidity and use of lines, how they transitioned, using the space in-between each pole, audience interaction and the performer’s own interpretation of their chosen music.

Of course, as the categories advanced so did the entertainment of each performance, but it was interesting to see how each performance differed and how they each competitor brought their own flare and individuality to their piece. It was not only the skill of each person that varied but each performance on the whole. Each performer used their music in a different way to the other.

There was a variety of genres, ranging from the slow, sultry and artistic, to the more electronic and upbeat. However, what was noticeable is that as each performer became more comfortable on stage, it was at that point that both themselves and their performance thrived.

Audience interaction seems to be a crucial element to the success of each performance, with each clap, or word of encouragement you can see the performer edging more and more into their element.

But it was the level of camaraderie between the opposing teams that made the atmosphere what it was. Each team applauded the other as loudly as their own, and so despite it being a competition, it made the performances seem more of a celebration of the sport rather than a win or lose situation.

As spectators of this sport, we cannot help but admire the courage of each and every one of the competitors.