A FORMER British skiing champion from the Ribble Valley has started his first business after retiring from the sport.

Chris Stewart, 25, who was British champion three times, has opened the Leading Physique gym in Clitheroe Road, Barrow.

The new business is based around Chris’ ‘passion’ for fitness after getting into skiing at the age of two.

Chris, who has lived in the Ribble Valley village all his life, attended Pendle Ski Club and took up racing at 10-years-old.

He entered the British Championships for the first time when he was 18, claiming the first of his championship wins in 2010.

He followed up that success the following year and again in 2013.

Chris has been working on setting up the business for two years.

He has already worked with England Women’s Rugby League, GB skiers, national and international distance runners, as well as schools to gain experience.

The Stubbins Lane resident said: “It’s something that I’m really enjoying.

“You don’t quite get that rush of adrenaline as you get when you are flying down a ski slope but it’s close enough.

“I’m really proud of what I achieved in my career.

“I’ve always been interested in training people and helping them to train towards something.

“If everything goes well I’m hoping to start employing people and even expand out of Barrow.

“I always wanted a meaningful career after skiing and I hope that this is going to be a success.”

The news business comes as Brian Cookson, UCI (cycling’s governing body) president, is set to officially open a new sports injury centre in Clitheroe next weekend.

NJD Sports Injury Centre will be based at Hawthorne Business Park in Lincoln Way and has been set up by Nicola Dinsdale, Garth Spencer and Nicholas Dinsdale.

The centre will include sports injury management and rehabilitation.

The official opening will take place on Sunday, May 18, at noon.