A FOOTBALL kit and equipment supplier has set itself new growth goals after expanding to meet rising demand from the local athletics community.

My Sportswear says it wants to create jobs and continue broadening its range following a move to a unit on Darlington’s Morton Park Way.

The company began as a home venture last year under the stewardship of owners Mark Hunter and Theresa Mason.

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However, after enjoying strong demand for athletics and gym wear, with customers keen to kit themselves out for park runs and marathons, the duo realised they needed greater space.

Mr Hunter, who has a background in sales and marketing, started coaching grassroots football and was involved in buying kits for children.

After realising there was a gap in the market to supply personalised sportswear locally, he began to explore the possibility of setting up business with his partner.

He said: “Initially, we were receiving orders for football and rugby sportswear.

“However, we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for athletics, gym wear and sports equipment for adults and children in the last few months.

“I think a lot of this is due to the popularity of team sports and other activities, including park runs and half and full marathons in the North-East.

“We are now looking at plans for growth, including expanding the product range and employment in the new year.”

The business received support from Jacksons Law Firm to turn its plans into reality.

Solicitor Sophie Lynas, who acted on behalf of My Sportswear, said: “You don’t need to spend too much time with Mark and Theresa to see how passionate they are about the business.

“Their work ethics are very similar to Jacksons with corporate responsibility high on the agenda.

“It’s great to see local businesses taking up new premises in Morton Park, which is not only good for the local economy but also for job creation.”

Ms Lynas added the support means Jacksons, which runs its head office out of Stockton, has now assisted four companies with commercial property leases on the Darlington business park, following work with BC Stewart, JT Office Interiors and DW Flooring Darlington.

Jonathan Simpson, director at Connect Property North- East, which concluded the letting on behalf of Rockspring, in partnership with Caisson Investment Management, added: “We are delighted to welcome My Sportswear to Morton Park.”