Young Sidmouth woman launches world-wide business with childhood savings

Kitty Harrison. Ref shs 35-16TI 6934. Picture: Terry Ife

Kitty Harrison. Ref shs 35-16TI 6934. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth woman who lost three-quarters of her body weight through illness - and was told she was two weeks away from dying - has recovered and used her passion for fitness to launch a world-wide online business.

Full-time university student Kitty Harrison, of Newlands Road, will go live with her website for Bucket List Boot Camp this week, using money, she has been saving since she was 13, from her part-time job.

The 20-year-old, who runs fitness classes for up-and-coming Olympic skiers in her spare time, became passionate about fitness when she was poorly in hospital. Kitty spent three years in and out of hospital receiving intensive medical care, which meant she had to drop out from doing her A-levels. After she began to recover, she decided she wanted to use her savings to do something she loved.

Kitty said: “I had a passion for fitness, nutrition and travelling and thought how great it would be to combine the three. I asked other people what they thought about it and they thought it was a great idea - so I used my savings to start my company.

“I was on bed rest for ages, unable to move – so for my family to be able to watch me become healthy, and then do that for other people, they are really proud of me - it is really lovely.

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“I honestly feel being ill was a blessing in disguise - it made me realise what I want to do and what I am passionate about and to just do that, not worrying about anything but what you enjoy doing.”

Kitty, who has been spending her summer holiday running an eight-week boot camp in Sidmouth and working with her personal clients, went on to complete a qualification in personal training before gaining a foundation degree in nutrition. After two gap years, the former Sidmouth College student is now doing a degree in sport science at the University of Gloucestershire.

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Through Bucket List Boot Camp, Kitty runs ten-day programmes for people from the UK and Australia in beautiful destinations around the world such as Bali and Thailand.

Those who sign-up get a fully-organised 10-day trip, which includes five-star accommodation, a nutrition programme and six classes a day for a week. There are 12 spots on each of the fitness and weight loss programmes.

Kitty’s first boot camp will take place in Bali in May 2017. After that she plans to hold one in Thailand, before hopefully going on to run various others around the world three times a year.

Kitty will be running the boot camps with another a personal trainer,a masseuse and a nutritionist - all of which are friends and people she has met through university, while in Bail, or who have somehow helped her in the past.

“A lot of people want to get into it and don’t know where to start,” she said.

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