[Kelly Tyler | Derby Telegraph]

The University of Derby is holding its first inter-university pole competition in a bid to find the “king or queen of the chrome”.

More than 20 students from across the UK are expected to take part in the contest, which is being held on Saturday, January 31, at the university’s Students’ Union.

Competitors will have the chance to show off their skills to their chosen piece of music while being assessed by a panel of four professionals in the pole industry.

Hannah Collins, vice-president of the university’s Pole Fitness and Aerial Arts Society, said: “University pole fitness teams, clubs and societies from all over the UK are coming to Derby to battle it out to see who will be crowned king or queen of the chrome!

“The contest will give people the opportunity to experience some amazing acts from young people all over the country.”

Hannah said planning for the event started last summer. She said: “Every year, each society has to do something for the university’s Raising And Giving (RAG) committee. We knew that there was a national inter-university pole contest so we decided we wanted to do our own.

“We have people coming from Bangor, Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield to take part and, although I won’t be competing, the society are really excited about it.”

There are seven spaces available in three different categories for the competition – beginner, intermediate and advanced.

There will be a winner announced for each category as well as a runner-up.

Hannah, 20, who is a third-year psychology student at the University of Derby, said the society encouraged everyone to try pole and the aerial arts “regardless of age, gender or sporting ability”.

She added: “Our society has recently undergone a name change from the Pole Dancing Society to Pole Fitness and Aerial Arts as we believe it is more a more accurate portrayal of what we do and helps to see through a fog of stigma surrounding the sport.

“We have around 40 members this year. Our perspective on pole is one of respect, freedom of expression, appreciation of artistry and athleticism and above all a non-judgmental attitude.”