Interviews

At the time of launching the S4K franchise network we interviewed the S4K Co-Founders our CEO Steve Jones and our COO DR Mark Gould to get an insight on what makes them tick and what are the ideas and passions behind the business.

Steve, what was the driver behind launching S4K?

“Well I have always had a passion for sport and for child development and learning. Meeting Mark and seeing first-hand the experience of a typical sports class from a parents perspective really brought that together.

The first driver was child development. I had sent my children to a Montessori school and loved the way that they taught the children. It was a very child centric way of developing core skills, that children then put together themselves in creative more complex tasks. Mini techniques and muscle movement, in say a skill such as writing, the way they built the strength in children’s muscle motors to be able to hold or pick up a small item precisely between their fingers, do controlled movements, recognise shapes, play with shapes and movement in sand before putting a pen in a child’s hand. That was amazing foresight. It meant that the child found holding a pen, controlling it and emulating shapes was so natural. The way they did this built the confidence in the children. Mark and I saw how we could use that technique of child development in sport and it is the secret sauce and the bedrock of what we today call “The S4K Way.”

“The second driver was a combination of seeing our national sports lose at various stages because we lacked the skills at the elite level and of course getting better sports tuition for children at a much younger age.”

“The Third was seeing a huge gap in the market for high quality sports development and entertainment that parents could have confidence in. No one was looking at it from a parents perspective and certainly not from a child’s perspective.”

Most sports were designed in the 19th Century for adults, usually on large fields and big goals and equipment. Not many have designed sports and the coaching of them from a child’s perspective. When I was a young boy my u8’s team actually played on a full size pitch!”


Mark added

“ When Steve and I met there was definitely a meeting of minds. My psychology background, particularly from a child development perspective married perfectly to the way children absorbed information and how they develop cognitive and physical skills.

We both wanted to merge sporting development with child centric learning techniques. Children learn best when they are having fun and love what they do. We simply hide the elite technical skills in fun sessions that a child can absorb and get passionate about. Using analogous learning where we swap a sporting goal with an imaginary fun goal help immerse a child in imaginary worlds that they can revel in.”

When we got together and created Sport4Kids these key principles drove every aspect of building the business. We instantly got to work on developing some great technical excercises wrapped in fun entertainment that engaged the children. One exercise at a time we developed a whole program based on these principles. One parent described it as S4K had become drug for the kids and that is what we aimed for from the beginning.

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Sport4Kids UK Ltd.

44 Old Mill Place, Wraysbury, Middlesex

TW19 5LY, United Kingdom