by Kelly Sports
last updated 22/09/2019
Giving Kids Skills For Life
by Kelly Sports
last updated 22/09/2019
Kelly Sports wants people to run in-school and after-school programmes
Paul Jamieson believes Kelly Sports is a unique business opportunity for the right people, and is thrilled the franchise is growing strongly and having profound effects upon New Zealand children. ‘We like to refer to all our franchisees as business partners, and we mean it. Kelly Sports is set up for success at every step of the way, because the more you succeed as one of our partners, the more we all succeed.’
It was through his own children that Paul became involved with the franchise. ‘My kids were involved in impressive programmes at their school which were run by Kelly Sports, and that got me interested. When I was a boy, my mum ran a day-care centre during the holidays and I started coaching cricket at the age of ten. My love of sport, coaching and kids started then.
‘Fast forward more than a few years and I was a father myself, managing a technology company and in need of a change of direction. Buying Kelly Sports was absolutely the right move for me and growing it steadily ever since has been deeply rewarding, because the effects on the kids we teach are so long-lasting.’
Teaching respect, confidence and fitness
Kelly Sports was originally set up to help Australian children 25 years ago. In 2007 the franchise crossed the Tasman and now boasts 36 franchise zones offering in-school and after-school sports programmes at hundreds of schools around New Zealand. ‘Kelly Sports encourages kids to have fun and give sport a go,’ says Paul. ‘Sport offers young people challenge, healthy competition and respect, and physical activity builds fitness and gives children a place to channel their energy – all of which leads to better life preparation.
‘Our franchisees and their coaches spend a lot of time getting kids to practise basic skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching within an awesome, fun environment. Some are naturally sporty so they can further hone their skills, but many are a bit shy or resistant to trying a new sport. It’s a great feeling when they excel, and they gain so much confidence as a result. That can transfer to so many other things in their lives. Without physical activity, children can get into a downward spiral – something sport can reverse.’
Kelly Sports programmes are welcomed into schools around the country for other reasons, too. ‘Child obesity is a big issue in New Zealand, and Kelly Sports is providing part of the solution as we strive to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Schools have a crowded curriculum these days and sports are being squeezed off the agenda. And, to compound the problem, many teachers are not that sporty themselves so they don’t have the skills and confidence to teach sport and physical activity. That’s why a second and increasingly important string to the Kelly Sports bow is professional development for teachers in coaching and delivering sport.’
Kelly Sports has established franchises from the top of the North Island to Dunedin. Franchisees come from a wide range of backgrounds and include mums and dads as well as sports people such as former NZ softball captain and current NZ Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson in Wellington. ‘There are no limits to who can own a Kelly Sports franchise as long as they have the right enthusiasm,’ says Paul.
‘Financially, it makes sense; as always, the more you put in, the more you get out and some of our partners are making six figures annually. But the first priority is to have a genuine love of working with kids, and a clear focus on enjoying the environment you want to create. Personally, when I attend an event I always try and talk with the kids first – I can catch up with the adults later, but I want the children to feel special, express themselves clearly, and enjoy sport and physical activity.’
‘If Steve Hansen himself were to roll up tomorrow and tell me he wanted to join us, I’d simply ask, “How well do you relate to five- and six-year olds?” I’m not sure that age group would appreciate Steve’s dry sense of humour as we do! You need to be able to get down to the kids’ level and be prepared to take the mickey out of yourself – they appreciate that.’
Around the country
To fulfil Kelly Sports’ mission to get all New Zealand’s kids fit, healthy active and confident, Paul is looking for franchisees for several areas, including Taranaki, Tauranga, Nelson, Rotorua, Northland and Southland – ‘A choice of climate to suit every taste, really!’ he laughs. ‘The investment required is $40,000 +gst and includes everything from initial training, equipment and a business development plan to support with signing up your first school programmes.
‘This is a deeply satisfying business – what else can you be involved in that can have a major impact upon young people for their entire life? I once explained to someone what I did for a living and he replied, “That’s not work…that’s play!” Maybe it is, but its effects are long-lasting. Give me a call and find out more.’
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