Sport4Kids Franchising Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Sport4Kids Franchising Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

CEO Steve Jones
The joy of sport inspires
Sport4Kids (S4K) is leading a revolution in children’s sports
entertainment through pioneering coaching programmes
designed specifically for children. Based in Windsor, S4K
was founded by CEO Steve Jones and COO Dr Mark Gould in
2012. S4K acquired ActivKids in 2014, whose founder James
Porter joined the S4K leadership team. Together, they are on
a mission to revolutionise children’s sport, known as “The S4K
Way”. Steve discusses here how this ethos underpins everything
they do at Sport4Kids.
The S4K Way: our approach
From day one, we recognised the key issues and challenges for various stakeholders
in children’s sport and education.
We address each stakeholder’s view and build unique services by exercising
best practice in child psychology and development, product design, customer
experience, training, processes and technology. We call this “The S4K Way” and it
drives everything that we do, every day.
We have researched world-class sports techniques to create a detailed children’s
sports curriculum defining each movement and motor skill. Each sport has its pillars
and player pathways with individual record books for the progression of each child.
This is unique and groundbreaking.
Quality and control is critical with detailed monthly lesson plans, coach training and
closed-loop class audits. Innovation underpins the entire methodology, and allows
»Co-founded by CEO Steve
Jones and COO Dr Mark
»Established in 2012
»Based in Windsor, Berkshire
»Services: Children’s sports
development and coaching
»No. of employees: 60 in
Windsor with 100 nationwide
»30,000 – 40,000 children
utilise S4K curricula every
»Acquired ActivKids, founded
by James Porter, in 2014
» and
Franchising Ltd
Highlighting best practice
us to inspire, entertain and transform
the progression of children in sport.
The stakeholder groups include
children, parents, schools, nurseries,
coaches, teachers and network
partners. We have identified the
issues for each stakeholder and have
harnessed best practice to address
every issue.
The S4K Way: children
Currently, sports education for children
across the country is of questionable
quality, with no set aims, outcomes
or curriculum for each individual age
group. Children’s sport has been
largely ignored by governing bodies, as
they focus on adult sporting success,
commercial progress and other
unrelated issues.
The S4K Way combines child-centric
Montessori learning methods with
world-class sports techniques such as
the Dutch Coerver method and Spanish
tiki-taka. Detailed skills-based curricula
with personal record books help the
child build core motor, cognitive
and social skills. There is a different
curriculum for each age group, and
they progress when they have displayed
appropriate skills across 80 per cent
of the stage. A sense of continuous
recognition, progression and reward
keeps children engaged and builds their
The S4K Way: parents
The lack of quality, affordable options
means it is difficult for parents to
prepare their children for a healthy,
active and sporty lifestyle. They find
it challenging to understand the best
development journey for their children
and where to find it. Too often,
parents encounter ill-trained coaches
who focus on training older and
“better” children without regard for
the overall experience.
We focus on meeting the parents’
hopes, needs and desires for
transparent, high-quality and reliable
experiences for their children. Through
our Practice@Home method, we
deliver transparent programmes with
curricula that educate parents on how
best to help them develop their child.
This builds a triangle of trust between
the child, coach and parent.
The S4K Way: coaches
We recognise young people and
aspiring coaches as key stakeholders.
The development and training of
coaches has historically been poor,
too generic and not child-centric.
There is a lack of consistent training
and accreditation for coaches and
teachers in schools, which leads
to huge variation in quality. The
provision of strong, well-qualified and
well-equipped career-based training
programmes for coaches is missing.
We recruit talented individuals and
shape them into sports entertainers
and master coaches with the “S4K
University”; this delivers child-focused,
entertaining and experiential coaches
grounded in highly technical sports-
specific skills programmes. We provide
careers and personal development
to maintain a high-quality body of
ambitious and aspiring coaches, who
we recognise as being the key to
The leadership team
Colin Jackson,
the S4K brand
From day one,
we recognised
the key issues
and challenges
for various
stakeholders in
children’s sport
and education
The S4K Way: franchisees
Traditional children’s sports franchise
models have catered for a single
sport with a limited age group and
low-level technical sports skills. This
provides a limited opportunity for
franchisees to build a business. Often,
these job postcode franchise models
mean that franchisees are forced to
coach themselves to earn a living. They
work in the business, and not on it.
They fail to grow their business, and
administrative burdens weigh them
S4K provides a multiservice line
business model with multiproduct
focused service lines driving greater
market opportunity and personal
business growth. We provide
streamlined digital marketing,
administration, online coach training
and customer services. Franchisees can
focus on the customer and growing
their business while maintaining the
highest of quality standards. They can
build a business of significant size and
become true network partners, thus
driving the S4K mission forward.
The S4K Way: schools and
With no set curriculum and a lack of
technical skills and funding, primary
schools struggle to provide a healthy
sporting foundation for our children.
Ofsted measures schools on narrow
academic performance with audits
that focus on non-sporting activities.
There is no universal standard for
sport, nor the appropriate directives
and recognition. Nurseries are similarly
challenged when it comes to their
resources. Sport is a key part of a
child’s early development, and it is
a missed opportunity for too many
children and parents.
S4K has created a pupil pathway and
curriculum for each age group, with
individual record books provided
to record and monitor progression.
Withour weekend skills classes, we
can generate additional income for
schools by hiring their facilities. It is
a win-win, and we see the schools
become partners.
The S4K Way: the future
As Colin Jackson, Olympian and
multi world-record-breaker, shares:
“Every child deserves the chance to
be the very best they can be and,
with our S4K curriculum, sporting
pathways and individual record books,
the progression of each child is the
focus. Our mission is to revolutionise
children’s sport and education, one
class, one parent, one child and one
smile at a time.”
At S4K, we have experienced
astounding growth so far. We will
continue invest in our product, our
processes and our people to the
benefit of all stakeholders. Our belief
in our mission supported by The S4K
Way is undoubted. Our methods and
best practice are far beyond anything
else out there, and we look forward
to further expansion, both across
the UK and in international markets.
We must be restless in our pursuit of
excellence, and, as we go forwards, we
want to share this journey with other
stakeholders, and would thus like to
openly welcome anyone who feels
inspired by our mission to revolutionise
children’s sport in the UK.
We must be
restless in our
pursuit of
and, as we go
forwards, we
want to share
this journey
with other
Fun and dreams
Technical skills

This article was sponsored by Sport4Kids Franchising Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.