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READY STEADY GO!
Kelly Sports gives young sprinter a quick start in a business of his own
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Kelly Sports, Zac Topping says 'The training was great and the support is excellent'
Kelly Sports is giving kids a sporting chance
At the age of only 26, athlete Zac Topping has leapt into a role he didn’t expect so early in life: business owner. ‘My grand plan was always to have a business of my own one day, but I didn’t think it would happen quite so soon.’
After graduating in Sport, Exercise, Management & Coaching, the NZ-representative sprinter was immediately offered a job at Manawatu Sports. ‘I had multiple roles over the next three years helping various sports clubs meet the needs of their communities. I then managed two indoor sports facilities in Wellington which had around 500 sports clubs through every week before going back to Manawatu where I became the aquatics coordinator at the Freyburg community pool. I guess I’m passionate about sport of any kind!’
Kelly Sports clinics and in-school programmes were founded in Australia in 1994 and the company now has 36 franchisees throughout New Zealand. It aims to get everyone from pre-schoolers to 12-year-olds involved in sports activities through partnerships with schools, communities, clubs and regional agencies. Franchisees need to enjoy coaching themselves as well as having the ability to train and motivate staff.
As an athlete and competitor, Zac believes firmly in living by example. ‘Coaching children develops their skills so they can participate and love life,’ he says. ‘If they get passionate about sport when they are young, it will make it much easier for them to take it up again when they are older. Sport has done a huge amount for me and this is how I want to live my life.
‘Kelly Sports looked like a lot of fun, and I had reached the point where I wanted to make all my own decisions. I talked to lots of people and the more I heard from colleagues and other franchisees, the more I nodded my head. I came to the conclusion that Kelly Sports was a great opportunity which would allow me to follow my passion and be my own boss.’
As Zac didn’t know much about franchising, he was careful to examine the opportunity in detail. ‘Of course the timing was less than ideal as I’d just bought a house – and a dog – but the franchisees I spoke to were very clear about the figures, and I was able to take out a business loan against my new house.’
Zac only started his franchise a month ago but he is already reaping the rewards. ’My initial approaches to schools were much easier than I thought; they were all very enthusiastic and, after running a free clinic where I was hoping to get 5 or 6 sign-ups, we now have a programme running for 30 kids over 2 schools. I think people to whom I’m pitching the campaign pick up on my enthusiasm as I’m passionate about what I’m talking about.
‘The training was great and the support is excellent. Kelly Sports really has taken all the scary bits out of starting a business as it gives you all the management and IT systems you need to succeed, as well as the programme structures, of course. Paul Jamieson, Kelly Sport’s managing director, says my success is their success, and they really do live up to that.’
‘Sport offers young people challenge, healthy competition and respect,’ says Paul. ‘Teaching children foundation skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching builds confidence, builds fitness and gives them a place to channel their energy, all of which leads to better life preparation. So many children just don’t get those basic opportunities, which is why our slogan is Giving Kids A Sporting Chance.’
It was through his own children that Paul originally became involved with Kelly Sports. ‘My children were involved in the programmes at school run by Kelly Sports and the set-up was very impressive. I was working for a technology company at the time, but when they relocated, I bought the master franchise in New Zealand and it’s been growing ever since.
‘Our success means more opportunities throughout the country for people with a passion for sharing the joy of sport with kids. Parents are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of fun-based sport so if you share Zac’s enthusiasm, you can have a real blast while building a thriving business.’
Kelly Sports has franchises available nationwide from $30,000. ‘Annual returns can climb into six figures,’ says Paul. ‘Visit our info-packed website or call me today and find out more.’
See this advertorial on page 23 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 4
Contact details for Kelly Sports
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