Posted on January 28, 2019 by staff

Funding boost for Yorkshire sports start-up


A sports education technology start-up based in Huddersfield has secured a five-figure funding boost that will help grow its reach across Yorkshire and the wider UK throughout 2019.

Sporting Age, based in Huddersfield, has secured a £75,000 injection from the £3 million social investment loan fund, Sporting Capital.

The fund, formed by sport-for-social-impact advisor, Sporting Assets, and Access: the Foundation for Social Investment, exists to bridge the gap between charities and social enterprises.

The news follows the announcement this week by education secretary Damian Hinds at education technology exhibition Bett 2019 of a £10m investment fund to create a single market place for education buyers in a bid to provide a “trusted, single edtech destination where people can go for products and services”.

Shaun Fox, founder and director at Sporting Age, said: “This investment will kick-start the second stage of business growth for Sporting Age, following the launch of our platform and campaign last October to help primary schools tackle obesity among pupils by increasing their levels of participation in physical activity.”

Andrea Springthorpe, co-director, added: “Sporting Capital’s investment will enable us to scale the business over the next 12 months through the introduction of additional resource, increasing our marketing activity and developing the Sporting Age software platform further.”

Jonny Nolan, co-director, said: “The funding boost will ultimately help us take the business to the next level, and we hope to eventually create further job opportunities as Sporting Age grows across Yorkshire and the wider UK.

“When young people start primary school aged four or five, 20 per cent of are classed as overweight or obese. By the time they leave primary school age 11, this figure rises to 35 per cent.

“Sporting Age helps schools and teachers tackle obesity and encourage participation in physical activity by using data from a series of pupil benchmarking tests to produce stage-appropriate PE lesson plans that ensure schoolchildren are being taught at the correct level of ability in PE.”

Jemma Leathley, Investment Manager for Sporting Capital, said: “Sporting Capital is delighted to have made the investment into Sporting Age, a growing business, looking to have an impact on reducing childhood obesity.

“We are really looking forward to collaborating with community sports businesses across the country to help them to grow and develop with our investment.”

The Sporting Capital fund is backed by funding partners The Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital via the Access Foundation.