Kate and Tom Austen, the brother and sister team behind Podplus Trackside Shop & Clinic, took the Young Entrepreneur of the Year prize at the recent Young Entrepreneurs Dinner at Canterbury Cathedral.
The award was sponsored by the Institute of Directors Kent division. Kate and Tom were chosen from Prince’s Trust businesses that exhibited at the Kent County Show in 2006.
Podplus opened its doors at the Julie Rose Athletics Stadium in Ashford just over 18 months ago and is rapidly gaining a reputation for selling products designed for activity and running, alongside a high technology shoe fitting service that links a treadmill, laptop and camera in-store.
The business also has health professionals offering chiropody, podiatry and sports massage. Tom practices podiatry at the clinic, advising on all lower limb mechanics, growth problems and foot injuries and ailments, while Kate manages their growing team of five staff and the everyday running of the business.
Speaking at the awards dinner, Kate said: “As a young person it can be hard to make an impact, and opening a shop and clinic is a big risk. It took a year of research, a well thought out plan, support from the Prince’s Trust and continued enthusiasm and optimism to get here. We are so pleased.”