A-Star Sports, the multi award-winning sports coaching company, has once again expanded its geographical reach with the selection of two dedicated professionals to run the Cheltenham and Cotswolds franchise.
The new venture, which will be headed by Vikki and Richard Mann, will begin operations with holiday clubs and parties and will offer regular weekly classes after the school holidays in September.
Richard, a former Project Manager in the financial services industry, is ideally suited to bringing sporting expertise to the A-Star Sports multi-sports coaching classes, which are aimed at children as young as two years old and up to 10 years old.
He played badminton, tennis and squash at county junior level and recently has had a string of successes in marathons and triathlons. The 41-year-old from Cheltenham has represented Great Britain in the European Long Distance Triathlon Championships (35-39 age group) and also competes in long distance Ironman triathlons.
Vikki, 40, has a background in childcare, having worked in nurseries and run her own successful business as a childminder.
She said: “Between us, with Richard’s sports experience and my qualifications with children, we are bringing an ideal set of skills to A-Star Sports classes and I am sure the children in the Cheltenham and Cotswolds area will get a lot out of it.
“Having worked closely with children for many years, I know how important a sporting start is in life, to help create a healthy and balanced outlook, and I am sure that with Richard’s sporting track record, he will be a wonderful role model for them.”
Vikki and Richard’s territory covers the spa town of Cheltenham and a substantial area to the east of it, including historic towns such as Tewkesbury and Evesham and picturesque villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water.
They will also operate in many of the Cheltenham feeder villages such as Bishop’s Cleeve and Winchcombe, which have large primary schools but few other facilities. Vikki said: “It is part of our strategy to take sports to the parents and children there, rather than them having to jump in the car again to drive to activities elsewhere.”
Vikki explained that she and Richard had been looking for multi-sports coaching for their own daughter, but were struggling to find something suitable in the area, when they came across A-Star Sports.
She said: “We looked at their programme and were very impressed. Then we looked further into it and discovered the excellent opportunities to franchise with an award-winning company which is clearly going places.”
The A-Star Sports programme offers children 10 different core sports, including football, dodgeball, tennis, basketball and cricket. It is designed to make sport fun and accessible for children, and its peer-reviewed programme includes weekly classes, parties and holiday club places, as well as regular sessions in nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, which are attracting thousands of attendees per week.
A-Star Sports franchisees are offered a full training package to get them started and ongoing coaching- and business-orientated support, including help with finance, marketing, general management, health and safety, HR and the benefit of a regularly reviewed coaching programme.
The company recently signed up GB hockey star and Olympic bronze medallist Helen Richardson and UK dodgeball’s Alex Harrison as ambassadors who are positive role models to inspire the children who come to the firm’s classes and holiday clubs.