A WOKING woman will explore combining her first and latest sporting loves next year.

Kim Valente, founder of the popular Squat2Fit fitness group, has enjoyed a remarkable first season as a bodybuilder, entering her first competition as a bodybuilder only in May, then making such rapid progress that she represented Great Britain in the world championships in Los Angeles last month.

“It was spectacular,” Kim said. “Not in a million years could I imagine that I would achieve so much in six months.

“I didn’t manage to finish in a place in Los Angeles, but that was an exceptionally high standard and I could hardly be disappointed. I am incredibly proud of what I brought to the world stage.

“I got some great feedback from the judges and I hope to learn from that in the future.

“It’s taken me a few weeks to get past Los Angeles, with all the build-up, the competition, the time differences and the travelling, all the post-show syndrome, if you like. I’m ready to go on again now though.”

Kim, a personal trainer, was a distinguished track-and-field athlete and only turned to bodybuilding when her competition plans were thwarted by the pandemic.

Now she plans to return to athletics for the indoor winter season.

“I was a sprinter and long jumper, so I had the strongly defined muscle that lent itself to trying bodybuilding.

“I love a challenge and wanted to see whether the two disciplines are in any way compatible.

“I’m nowhere near ready to compete but I have my eye on a meeting at Windsor in February to test out how I’m doing.

“I don’t how it will work out, but whatever sport you try all you can do is bring the best version of yourself, and then try to bring a better version next time.”