56. A-Star Sports
The innovative franchise business providing ‘sport for life’ with multi-sport coaching for children
Founders: Gary Bassett, Sharon Bassett, Kevin Key, Caroline Key, Alister Ramm and Lorna Ramm
Founded: November 2011
Featured in our Startups 100 list in 2012, A-Star Sports has seen further strong growth over the past 12 months with its unique franchise model, offering children multi-sport activity programmes hosted by experienced coaches. With more than 50 years of coaching experience between them, the founders and their franchisees now cater to more than 3,500 children in their peer-reviewed weekly classes and have a similarly strong line in children’s parties and holiday camps. After being awarded provisional British Franchise Association accreditation last year, the business has grown to 12 franchise locations across the UK, with more planned in the coming months. Racking up a number of accolades, A-Star Sports was recognised as one of Britain’s top 250 business talents by Lord Young and Sir Terry Leahy and recently picked up Best PR Campaign at the 2013 Franchise Marketing Awards. Over the next year the company plans to strengthen its links with its sports partners including the UK Dodgeball Association and develop its corporate social responsibility programme.