A Colchester triathlete is hoping to break the mould and help you women feel body confident.

Kat Matthews, 31, grew up playing hockey with England’s Commonwealth Games heroes before dropping the sport when she took up the triathlon.

Kat, who worked as a physiotherapist for the army at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, is outspoken on equal opportunities.

She has revealed how she has faced the damaging stigma about what a female athlete’s body should look like from her childhood cross country days.

But Kat hopes to break the taboo.

“I had a slightly more muscular body than some of the other girls I used to run with and it was slightly unacceptable that I wasn't running in a crop top and little pants,” she said.

“I experienced that inner thigh rub and as a teenage girl I thought it was unacceptable and I thought ‘I can’t do this’.

“But that’s absolutely fine, it’s about trying to be tolerant of every body type rather than smaller is better.

“Just because one person looks slightly leaner than another doesn’t mean their body fat percentage is lower. Striving for something that somebody else looks like is just wrong.”

This weekend she is hoping for success in The Collins Cup in Bratislava which is modelled on golf’s Ryder Cup.

It was first introduced last year with Team Europe claiming the spoils over Team USA and Team International.

The team event has a $1.5million prize pot spread equally between men and women.

Kat, who only took up the sport aged 24, cannot wait to help try and retain the title.

She become the first woman to complete a full distance triathlon in under eight hours in June.

However, she believes her second place at the 2021 Ironman World Championship is what really made her fellow competitors stand up and take notice.

“Maybe it was more of an eye-opener for some,” she said.

“It was my debut at the distance and I stepped up to the plate and said, ‘even though I haven’t been around that long, I’m definitely one of the contenders.’”

The Collins Cup takes place on Saturday August 20 at the X-Bionic Sphere, Bratislava. For full listings of how to watch go to https://protriathletes.org/events/how-to-watch