Although The Actives Team Limited business was officially registered with Companies House back in October 2017, the seed of the business was actually sewn over 30 years ago when I was first introduced to competitive sports by my parents – naturally, I just didn’t know it then!
From the age of five, I was very fortunate to have been taken to a number of ‘taster sessions’ including swimming, short tennis (played on an indoor badminton court with a yellow sponge ball), and football.
I remember loving them all equally the same and soon added a fourth Sport to my ‘weekly activity schedule’ – badminton.
Of course, it’s only looking back now as a parent myself, can I really appreciate the enthusiasm, commitment levels and sacrifices my parents made that allowed me to start my own ‘physical activity journey’ and find my ‘true passion’ from such an early age – thanks Mum & Dad!
My primary school junior years were filled with lots of free taster sessions, fun coaching sessions and important introductions to the ‘competitive world’, which reflecting back provided me with a great platform which enabled me to subconsciously develop key life skills such as how to:
- Engage and connect with ‘new friends’ quickly
- Effectively manage new social situations
- Listen and act upon instructions
- Develop a basic understanding of ‘time management’
- Differentiate between non-competitive and competitive environments
- Respect other people (kids and adults) that were not already in your immediate and trusted ‘friends and family circle’ regardless of age, sex, race and any other potential ‘demographic profiling features’ that we see in our multicultural and extremely liberal nation
These important basic life skills provided me with a solid foundation which enabled me to spend most of my teenage years enjoying the world of ‘competitive sport’, which not only further enhanced my life skills that I had already picked up in my junior years, but also gave me the opportunity to learn and develop new life skills such as:
- Developing a positive attitude towards discipline and commitment
- How to train your mind to focus on the positive and not the negative
- Trust your own ability when thrown into uncomfortable social situations
- How to get yourself back on track when things are not going your way
- How to operate in a team to maximise the chances of a team being successful
- How to turn a passion into an income stream and consequently how to maximise and leverage your skill sets within an industry that you genuinely care about – which also turns out to play a massive and positive role in society on a number of different levels including financial, health, social and environment – and actually get paid for it!
I will always remember my first real tennis coaching job experience as a 16-year-old, as it really tested my confidence and self-esteem levels, not to mention my communication and leadership skills as I had to organise an ‘adult club night’, which effectively meant I had to lead a tennis session which consisted of over 30 adults of whom most appeared to be double my age…Luckily for me, I had already subconsciously developed all the skills necessary to successfully execute a ‘sink or swim’ lesson, which then gave me the opportunity to go onto becoming the youngest Head Tennis coach at the prestigious Wellington College at just 18 years of age.
Since then through continuing to put all of my ‘sports skills’ that I had learned since the age of five into the most competive world of them all ‘the jobs market’, I was fortunate enough to have worked in a number of different and exciting roles within a number of industries (not just the health and fitness space), but none of them compare to the most exciting and most challenging role to date, and that’s building the worlds number 1 health and wellbeing brand for children – ‘The Actives’.
Will we succeed in our quest? 100% yes, because I’ve been ‘schooled in sport’ all my life so I know there is no other option other than to fail your way to success. We are all only too aware of the serious lows and numerous challenges and obstacles that we will invariably face along the way, but one of the most important life lessons sport has taught me and that is – to never give up no matter what. Therefore as long as you never give up – you can never fail.
So if you are a parent and haven’t yet embarked on the pursuit of finding ‘the right’ physical activity or a Sport yet with your child…please make it a top priority this year to address, as I can personally assure you it will be one of the best gifts you will ever give them, and they will be eternally grateful for the rest of their lives.
How can I make such a bold statement? Well not only am I speaking from personal experience from a ‘child perspective’, but I’m now also speaking from a parents perspective through watching my own two young children develop into confident, healthy and well-behaved kids by getting involved with numerous sports and physical activity sessions both in and out of school.
And that’s why I’m excited to say that although The Actives Story is already thirty plus years in the making, I can’t wait to build a dynamic senior management team who share the same beliefs and values to facilitate and promote the physical and mental health benefits that only Sport (and physical activity) can prescribe to every child regardless of sex, race and socioeconomic background.
As for our vision of becoming the worlds number 1 health and wellbeing brand for children – we obviously have not achieved our goal yet, as this ambitious goal will take time to achieve, but to quote the MMA global star Conor Mcgreggor “If you can see it here (mind), and you have the courage to speak it, it will happen.”