Lingerie designer to Tri something new

FORMER lingerie designer Vivienne Parish is set to capitalise on the increasing popularity of the women’s triathlon by opening a shop in Huntingdon dedicated to clothing and kit for participants.

FORMER lingerie designer Vivienne Parish is set to capitalise on the increasing popularity of the women’s triathlon by opening a shop in Huntingdon dedicated to clothing and kit for participants.

TriSportsPlus, which will be opened by the Mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Chris Doyle, at 77 High Street on Saturday, will sell running, cycling and swimming clothing and equipment.

Vivienne Parish, who also lives in Huntingdon, said: “We sell specialist equipment as well as items that the everyday fitness fan may want. We have a treadmill in the shop and computerised gait analysis equipment.

“Using this equipment, we record someone’s running style to enable us to offer suitable shoes and ultimately find the best pair, giving appropriate support and cushioning to minimise the chance of injury.”


You may also want to watch:


Vivienne competes in triathlons and found no local shops offering what she needed. So she decided to open her own when she was made redundant after 20 years designing lingerie.

At the age of 49, she has combined that ambition with a wish to abandon commuting.

Most Read

Vivienne was at the top of her game in multi-national textiles company Courtaulds, where she worked her way up straight out of university.

But six months after accepting redundancy and with no offer of a comparable job, she knew she needed to take uncharted steps to kick start her career again. So, with a cautious prompt of encouragement by husband Tim, 56, she began planning her new career from scratch.

Drawing inspiration from her favourite pastime, she is swapping bras and knickers for professional sportswear and equipment

“I started off designing ladies’ control garments, then bras and knickers, mostly for Marks and Spencer, as well as working on Victoria’s Secret in the States. By then I was more into design and sales,” explained Vivienne.

“Towards the end even I could see we were overstaffed and when they offered redundancy I decided to take it.

“For several years I have been mountain biking and road cycling, as well as a bit of running.

“I used to scuba dive, but not swim. When I first got back in a pool I couldn’t put four lengths together. I started at Huntingdon Leisure Centre, and six weeks later I could swim one mile. It goes to show how quickly you can progress.

“So two years ago I started training for my first triathlon which I completed in March 2009 and had by then caught the bug.”

She added: “I am not the world’s greatest triathlete, but I am a sales person and I’m passionate about the sport.

“After researching the market, seeing what shops and facilities were available locally, what clubs there were and knowing that triathlon is the fastest-growing sport in the UK, I realised that there was a market for a specialist store within Huntingdon that could also support the wider Cambridgeshire triathlon community.”

INFORMATION: TriSportsPlus at 77, High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3EN: telephone 01480 454183: www.trisportsplus.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter