Plus-size Stratford fitness guru launches crowdfunding campaign to tackle obesity

Julie Creffield wants to pitch her Too fat to run campaign to Richard Branson

Julie Creffield wants to pitch her Too fat to run campaign to Richard Branson - Credit: Adia PR

A fat yet fit athlete wants to raise £50,000 and pitch her idea to Richard Branson to get inactive and obese women running.

Julie Creffield, of Cam Road, has launched a #Voom 2016 crowdfunding campaign in the hope of getting a share of a £1m investment from the Virgin business magnate.

The 38-year-old businesswoman aims to challenge perceptions that you can’t be fat and fit or that you have to lose weight first before becoming more active through the Too Fat to Run? pitch.

Julie, who runs the The Fat Girls’ Guide to Running blog, is competing against several business ideas for the chance to pitch to Richard Branson live in the Virgin Media Business competition.

She said: “I need everybody to get behind this and vote or share it.”

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Her proposal aims to provide supportive communities to women across the UK who can meet and train together under expert guidance.

Her business model will include branded training programmes, such as Julie’s 5 weeks to 5K scheme, plus access to go-slow social runs and monthly meet-ups.

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In order to meet the next-stage criteria, Julie must raise £50,000 by May 23 and accumulate as many votes as possible. She currently lies in 11th place.

Julie was inspired to turn her popular blog into a plus-size fitness brand and campaign after a GP told her that she was too fat to run the Brighton Marathon in 2013.

This was despite the fact that the plus-size runner had completed a marathon two years previously at a similar weight.

She said: “Two million fewer women than men play sport in the UK, with many citing fear as the primary reason for not taking part.

“Overweight women are embarrassed to be seen exercising in public and often run in the dark or on treadmills in sheds away from potential shaming. This is sad and wrong and needs to change!”

To vote for Julie’s campaign or to find out more, visit click here

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