#Furniture Maker Gets Handle On Different Direction With A-Star Sports Franchise

Christmas is a time for reflection and it was at the festive season last year that top-level manufacturer Leo King decided that his life was ready for a new direction with a high potential franchise of award-winning company A-Star Sports.

The 39-year-old from Colchester, Essex, was on the point of being made a director at a household name kitchen furniture maker when he went on holiday to Sweden with his young family and came to the conclusion that sports coaching was where he saw his future.

I have been coaching eight-year-olds with my son`s football team and it started to dawn on me that I really loved it, said King. I got so much out of it that, in the end, the decision made itself, even though it was so major.

King has now completed his training for his radical career change and has started running A-Star Sports` multi-sports coaching classes for children as young as two and up to 10 years old in time for the schools going back this month.

He will be in charge of the company`s new Colchester and North East Essex territory which will include North Sea coastal towns such as Brightlingsea, Clacton, Harwich and Mersea, country towns such as Stoke-by-Nayland and Tendring, and the ancient Roman town of Colchester.

King, who has sons aged nine and seven and a four-year-old daughter, said: My decision was between carrying on doing what I have been doing for years, working in the corporate world and stressing about achieving targets, or opening horizons for children and promoting their well-being. I also think it is important for children to have appropriate male role models.

In my football teams, there can be a danger that, because the team is finite, some children will be excluded. With A-Star Sports, there are 10 different disciplines, so children have a huge range of choice about activities in which they can excel.

King added: Once I have the Colchester and North East Essex franchise up and running, it will definitely be one of my aims to take on more franchises and to spread the word about the life-enhancing benefits of sport for children.

Gary and Sharon Bassett, the co-founders of A-Star Sports really believe in what they`re doing, so it is quite inspiring. They have created excellent systems and procedures and I have seen for myself just how efficient they are at running a business.

I can be totally confident about how successful they will be, because they have such high standards. I wouldn`t be looking at it if I didn`t have a complete belief in the way they are going to push the business in the future.

A-Star Sports is designed to make sport fun and accessible for children, and its peer-reviewed programme includes private weekly classes, parties and holiday club places, as well as regular sessions in nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, which are attracting thousands of attendees per week.

A-Star Sports franchisees are offered a full training package to get them started and ongoing coaching and business-orientated support, including help with finance, marketing, general management, health and safety, HR and the benefit of a regularly reviewed coaching programme.

The company has signed up GB hockey star and Olympic bronze medallist Helen Richardson and England Lion and European Dodgeball champion Alex Harrison as ambassadors who will meet and inspire the children who come to the firm`s classes and holiday clubs.