Fighting fit for Xtra knockout success


Since the announcement last month of the merger between Sports Xtra, the leading children’s physical activity provider, and A-Star Sports, the award-winning multi-sports specialist, the network has launched three new franchises and seen local franchise partner Kelly Morgan set the bar high, celebrating a year as an inspirational role model in sport and business with an application for her professional boxing licence.

New to the network are John Polak (Cirencester), Alan Beard (University of Gloucestershire) and Claire Thorby (Living Sport Coaching HQ), confirming the success of a strategy for business development through traditional franchise channels as well as creative partnerships.

John has extensive business experience through roles in international business development and is looking to bring this and his passion for sports and physical activity together through his business.  Alan is a former sports development professional and teacher who is currently employed at the University of Gloucestershire.  A key part of his remit is to manage a Sports Xtra franchise through the University, lead on the development of opportunities for its students and build innovative links through this unique combination of roles.  Claire leads on the development strategy that brings Living Sport, a local sports charity and the County Sports Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and Sports Xtra together.

L-R_Claire Thorby of Living Sports_Max Mattless of Living_John Polak Cirencester Franchise Partner_Rob Oyston Sports Xtra MD - Copy

(L-R: Claire Thorby and Max Mattless of Living Sports, John Polak and Sports Xtra MD Rob Oyston)

Just over a year into developing her franchise business in Swindon, Kelly Morgan continues to bring the focus and discipline from 12 years in the military, including operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a year in Qatar as a personal trainer to a Sheikh’s family, which has provided her with the flexibility to pursue her passion for sport at an elite level.  She explains: “Boxing and business are very well aligned. To succeed at both you need to be passionate, disciplined and robust. If you can align your mind, body and spirit towards your goals, relentlessly and fiercely your arm will ultimately be raised in victory.”

Kelly Morgan of Sports Xtra with kind the permission of Point 5 Photography

(Picture courtesy of Point 5 Photography)

Such positive drive, energy and enthusiasm comes from having already competed internationally in netball and athletics, including being a Commonwealth bronze medallist (Manchester, 2002) and British record holder for Javelin.

Kelly explains: “When I first came to franchising, I had very little business experience and so the huge support network and having somebody to pick up the phone and speak to was worth its weight in gold. And there is lots and lots of good practical stuff – social media support, national marketing campaigns, a team to run the website and take bookings, plus support in the day-to-day running of the business.  The most important thing for me is that the business is growing month by month and I can balance this with my passion for sport.”

The merged network now has 40+ operational territories throughout the UK and delivers a wide variety of Xperience courses and the A-Star Sports programme to children aged 2-12 years through weekly classes, after school clubs, holiday clubs and parties.

For further information, contact Sharon Bassett T: 07932 182148 E: W: W: