Business Profiles

by Kelly Sports

last updated 12/01/2021


by Kelly Sports

last updated 12/01/2021

Cricket pro catches on to Kelly Sports for a new future

Anish Desai

From the age of 5, Anish Desai has always been keen on sport. ‘I loved all sports growing up, and became very good at soccer and cricket. By the time I was 15 I planned to be a professional cricketer.’

Anish played representative cricket for Hamilton and Northern Districts, but was always aware of the need to have a plan for life after cricket. ‘I knew I wanted to be involved in sports management at some stage in my life. I’m a pretty open, approachable guy and I’ve always enjoyed coaching so I spent the Kiwi winters of 2018 and 2019 playing cricket in Ireland and doing a lot of coaching there.

‘When I came back to New Zealand, I began to look for opportunities that would combine my passions and studied sports business management through Massey University online. I’m now 26, and I think I’d reached a stage in life where I realised that I could make a great career with sport at its core, but maybe not as my 15-year-old self imagined it.’

And that was when Anish came across Kelly Sports. Kelly Sports franchisees provide in-school and after-school sports programmes at hundreds of schools around New Zealand, teaching fundamental skills and encouraging kids to have fun and give all sorts of sports a try.

‘Kelly Sports can play a vital part in giving children confidence and setting them up for life,’ says Paul Jamieson, the managing director of Kelly Sports New Zealand. ‘Schools have a crowded curriculum these days and sometimes sports and physical activity are being squeezed off the agenda. The result is that far too many kids just don’t get the opportunity to learn the basics. Our franchisees are welcomed and help make a fundamental difference to children wherever they go.’

Too good to turn down

Anish contacted the franchise and got very positive vibes from the word go. ‘Paul is a very genuine guy, and the more I talked to him and researched the franchise, the more I realised how good their system is.  I felt their values and goals matched mine, and what they offer kids is far better than any other organisation can offer.

‘I decided Kelly Sports was simply too good an opportunity to turn down. Yes, I could pursue a professional cricket career for a couple of years, but then what? I think many people in my position have to think about the future beyond professional sport, and I was so impressed with the opportunity that I felt it was worth making the change now. I’ve leapt into Kelly Sports because I’m passionate about what it offers kids, and the franchise provides the support that I needed to help me make the transition into a business of my own.

‘Kelly Sports franchisees are trained to market and manage the programmes, as well as run them initially, and as the business grows they can employ as many coaches as they need to meet demand. It’s a way  to turn my passion into  my business.’

It gives me great joy

Having started in March 2020, Anish had just four weeks of operation in Tauranga before the schools all closed for lockdown. ‘But the way I look at it, I started once so I could easily start again. The franchise was very supportive, helping me approach the schools and getting to know the people and parents I will be working with. And being a bit of a known name locally does no harm,’ he smiles.

Having started his new business twice, what advice does Anish have for others in his situation.? ‘I’d say talk to as many people as you can: friends, family, business people, etc, but above all other franchisees. I spent a lot of time with the Hamilton franchisees and that was invaluable.

‘Kelly Sports offers great programmes and, as the franchisees will tell you, is incredibly rewarding if you have the right qualities. A love of sport is top of that list, but you also need organisation, communication, approachability, honesty and reliability. Working with children gives me great joy, and you can see so clearly how much of an impact sport can have in their lives. When I hear a child say, “I loved that,” or “I learned that and I want to go back and do more,” then I know I’ve done my job!’

A very solid business

Kelly Sports is looking for more people like Anish to run programmes in most parts of the country. The investment starts from $35,000, and with revenue streams from both schools and parents, franchisee income can climb into six figures, says Paul.

‘With 25 years’ experience behind us, Kelly Sports is a very solid business opportunity. If you have the passion and the drive we can teach you how to create a successful business and will work hard to assist you every step of the way, as Anish will testify,’ says Paul.

‘This is a franchise that can give you a great deal of satisfaction together with a great work/life balance. Call me – I’m happy to put you in touch with  our franchisees so you can draw your own conclusions.’   

See this advertorial on page 57 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 29 Issue 3

Contact details for Kelly Sports

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