Career Jump for Former Officer In Bid To Bring Sport To Next Generation In North East

A former Royal Navy Lieutenant, who served his country for 26 years, has taken on a new challenge – to make sport his business in a bid to inspire today’s children with a passion for fitness.

Father-of-two Gary Hopper, 44, made the break to turn his passion for sport into a career and take on his own business under the wing of the UK’s biggest coaching company, Premier Sport - and is now offering free sports taster sessions to schools across the region.

Gary will be working across Newcastle, Gateshead and the surrounding areas, in north and south Tyneside and south east Northumberland, offering PE coaching both in and out of school hours as well as holiday camps, breakfast, lunch and after school clubs with his team of coaches in up to 21 different sports under the Premier Sport umbrella.

Gary joined the Royal Navy as a junior mechanic straight from school, before working his way up the ranks through officer training to become a Lieutenant before leaving in 2009, when he left to pursue a civilian career in the nuclear industry.

The keen sportsman from Blyth, who Coaches the U7’s at Blyth Rangers FC, was passionate about bringing more sporting opportunities to local youngsters. “Sport is essential for children to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as providing other learning experiences such as team work, leadership, sharing, sense of achievement and fair play.

"I want this business to be recognised as the leading provider in quality sports coaching and education to primary school children in the North East of England.”

The move to set up his own business with Premier represents a huge career change and Gary has already undergone intensive coaching training in athletics, basketball, cricket, gymnastics, fencing and racket sports with Premier Sports.

Gary will be running fencing and gymnastics after school clubs at Blyth Bede Academy Primary School in Blyth from September, and is delivering free taster sessions to schools across the region. He will also be holding summer camps at Horton Grange Primary in Blyth.