Babies take centre stage at business

Madeleine Cordukes leading a class at her Slinga Fitness.

Madeleine Cordukes leading a class at her Slinga Fitness.

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A fitness entrepreneur is making exercise a family affair.

Madeleine Cordukes, from North Shields, has set up Slinga Fitness – which helps busy parents combine fitness and childcare.

The 24-year-old mum of two-year-old Georgina was at university studying a business management degree when she first came up with the idea of bringing babies into the gym.

Two years later, with the help and support of The Business Factory, delivered by North East enterprise agency TEDCO Business Support, Slinga Fitness has launched.

Madeleine, who is a qualified personal trainer and pre-and post-partum fitness instructor, is an advocate of using ergonomic baby carriers as part of a regular routine to help parents struggling with the ability to access classes by making babies part of the exercise itself.

She said: “The idea for Slinga Fitness initially came after hearing from some friends who had just had children how hard it is to schedule exercise around the demands of childcare.

“When my own daughter came along two years ago, the idea just gained momentum and I started working towards a range of fitness qualifications.

“My classes are unique as I encourage mums to use baby carriers so that when exercising, their baby is firmly with them at all times. Using baby carriers has a range of benefits.

“Baby-wearing fitness means you have a good range of motion but your baby is safe with you at all times.”

“The classes are by no means easy – they are a gentle introduction to exercise post-birth but the intensity does increase, particularly as the baby gets bigger and the extra weight makes workouts much more challenging.”

Madeleine runs each class with her own daughter, Georgina, in a carrier and has now ordered a range of new ergonomic carriers for class attendees to use which could take the weight of children up to two-and-a-half years of age to help broaden the appeal of the classes to parents with older children.

Madeleine added: “My plan from day one has been to grow the business and my business adviser has been wonderful at helping me to look at the opportunities to expand in the future.

“She has really made me consider every aspect of the business, from short-term opportunities to long-term challenges so I feel ready and prepared to take-on the challenges of running my own enterprise.”

Nicky Gray, TEDCO Business Advisor based at The Business Factory, said: “Slinga Fitness is a truly unique business concept that offers a fitness solution to a target market that is both well-considered and cleverly executed.

“It was a pleasure working with Madeleine to refine her vision and provide the right type of business support she needed to understand the demands of self-employment and how to run and grow an enterprise.”

Coun Bruce Pickard, Deputy Mayor at North Tyneside Council, added: “The Business Factory supports a wide range of businesses but I am delighted to be able to help a start-up business which will improve the health and wellbeing of local residents – something North Tyneside Council wholeheartedly supports.”

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