Rugby players from across Wales have taken to wearing an innovative new range of swimming shorts for men this summer, designed by former Cardiff Met student Jordan Bishop. The shorts are designed specifically for men with large thighs but regular sized waists.
The concept for Stridez, designed and manufactured by 23-year-old Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences student and rugby and children's sports coach Jordan, came about when the rugby fanatic found a limited array of choices that were available to him when shopping ahead of his summer holidays.
As well as gaining support from Big Ideas Wales, Jordan has been backed by the Centre of Entrepreneurship at Cardiff Met.
Concluding that he couldn't be the only person out there struggling to find a pair of shorts to fit his shape, Jordan ran a survey which he shared on social media, throughout his gym and with his fellow rugby players – the results of which revealed the extent to which this potential market segment had been overlooked.
In light of his findings, Jordan – who studied BSc Sport & Physical Education at Cardiff Met prior to his coaching and business ventures – went about spending a year developing the product before officially launching the Stridez brand via an online shop and locations across South Wales.
The product has received rave reviews from several prominent Welsh rugby stars, including Cardiff Blues players Josh Navidi, Seb Davies and Lloyd Williams.
Discussing the inspiration behind creating Stridez, Jordan said: "I struggled for years to find shorts that fit me properly and eventually decided to take it upon myself to come up with the solution. As a nation of rugby players there are a lot of guys out there like me who have big thighs but leaner waists and we're not being catered for by the fashion industry at large.
"I think I have found a real gap in the market and hope Stridez benefit other men who have been experiencing the same issue. The positive response so far has been incredible.
Jordan has big aspirations for Stridez and hopes to expand his product line to incorporate jeans, chinos, chino shorts and jogging trousers, as well as developing new colour ranges for his existing products.
Alongside pursuing his business dreams, Jordan has three other jobs keeping him very busy, including working as a teaching assistant and rugby coach at Glantaf High School, a children's sports instructor at David Lloyd Leisure and a pitch steward at Principality Stadium during rugby season.
On his journey from student to entrepreneur, Jordan said: "When I started at Cardiff Met University studying Sport, I had every intention to become a PE teacher eventually. But since coming up with the idea behind Stridez, I would love it if this venture could become my full-time job as it's a real passion of mine. Two years ago, I never would have expected to be running my own business, but now I am here and enjoying every moment."
Discussing Jordan's success, Cardiff Metropolitan University's Entrepreneurship Engagement Manager Steve Aicheler said: "To see a Cardiff Met student develop a moment of inspiration into a concept that's now come to market and attracted some high-profile admirers is incredible.
"The University's Research and Innovation team delivers an array of support services across numerous areas, being able to support Jordan's idea through the Centre for Entrepreneurship is reflective of the University's commitment to providing a holistic array of services to help students achieve their goals after graduation.
"We are delighted that Jordan has already seen success so early into his journey and we will ensure that he receives ongoing support from the centre as he grows this exciting venture."