What is Sports Xtra?

Sports Xtra is a leading children’s physical activity and sport provider with a fresh and innovative approach to private sector sports development. We are passionate about inspiring children to be more active through creative non-traditional routes as well as established ones.

Founded by Loughborough and Cambridge graduate Gareth Lippiatt in 2002, Sports Xtra was developed into a franchise business in 2008. In 2015, the company merged with A-Star Sports, the award-winning multi-sports specialist, to bring together a network of 35+ franchise partners. The combination of the market-leading Sports Xtra ‘Xperience’ and A-Star Sports brands enables us to create unique strategies and partnerships that stand out in a competitive market.

We work across the UK with hundreds of professional coaches delivering high quality provision – weekly classes, extra-curricular activities, holiday clubs and parties through primary schools wider organisations and independent venues.

Why now?

Our health and that of our children is a priority for a large percentage of the UK population. Such public concern, as well as increased media interest, has seen a surge in the growth of the sector in recent years to an £11b market for extra-curricular programmes in the UK. This has been further highlighted by research bringing our attention to key evidence linking children’s health, wellbeing & educational attainment, as well as physical activity and sports leading to children’s improved attention span, social skills, self-esteem and confidence.

The sector is also a very rewarding one for those committed to making a difference. 70% of our franchise territories have been operational for more than three years and greatly benefited from our proven mentoring programme:

“I have found the support from my mentor and the team at Head office instrumental in both launching and developing my business. The regular mentoring sessions have been invaluable. The strong support team helps me and other franchise partners with all aspects of the business… and has been put in place for me to grow my business successfully.”
Matt Davies – Franchise Partner, Bristol

“My mentor is always willing to offer his knowledge and experience. When we were first introduced he gave me tremendous amounts of advice to help with the start-up of my business… In one year, he contributed enormously to doubling my turnover and transforming my business… He is for sure one of the most accomplished professionals I have ever worked with.”
Nick Oakley – Franchise Partner, Essex

Franchise Opportunities

The Sports Xtra franchise model is a management opportunity that fits extremely well with those motivated to build strong relationships to increase participation in physical activity and sport as well as having the ambition to provide the best experience for children.

In the children we coach, we nurture enthusiasm, motivation, team spirit, trying new things, effective contribution, responsible participation and improving knowledge and skills. Through our intensive mentoring programme for new franchise partners, we support these key attributes and much more.

Our Head Office team knows from 50+ years of combined coaching experience that the right approach can have a big impact on children’s physical, social and emotional development. More importantly, it can build the confidence, motivation and skills to enjoy physical activity and sport for life. That’s why we believe a Sports Xtra franchise partner can deliver the highest level of job satisfaction.

In addition, Sports Xtra can help you access funding for people looking to launch their own business from the Government-backed Start Up Loans Company. As a recipient, you would also have access to exclusive discounts on a number of business products and services that equip entrepreneurs with many of the tools needed to launch a successful start-up. If you would like to access Start Up Loans funding, we’ll help guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you have the best chance of being approved.

What are we looking for?
Our business is about building strong working relationships. We have successful franchise partners from a diverse range of backgrounds including sales, accounting, banking, IT, operations, project management, teaching, coaching and many more. Our franchise partners have the ability to establish and then build relationships with parents, wider family members, coaches and other education professionals. Your background is important, but less relevant to your potential success than your ability to follow our successful model to build relationships, facilitate great activities for children and identify staff that you can develop.

As a Sports Xtra franchise partner your job will be to manage and develop your business, recruit and provide quality training for coaches to the desired level, maintain the high professional standards that have been set and to maximise the opportunity in your respective territory. And, let’s not forget, have lots of fun along the way!

Sports Xtra franchise partners hit the ground running with:

  • Full training programme – starting with six days at Head Office and continuing throughout the start-up period
  • Comprehensive business and coaching manuals
  • Equipment starter kit
  • Marketing portal for promotional materials, adverts, clothing and merchandise
  • Use of the Sports Xtra registered, trademarked brands
  • Exclusive access to business operations, systems and processes
  • Fully supported website and social media management
  • Exclusive, defined territory – professionally researched and mapped throughout the UK in order to provide an equal opportunity for every franchise partner and offer the potential for sustainable business growth

Plus, ongoing strategic support and mentoring from an experienced network that provides the best springboard from which to develop your successful business. This includes:

  • Regular mentoring contact, including business review, analysis, advice and guidance
  • Highly experienced business and coach mentoring teams
  • Assistance with the initial recruitment, training and deployment of coaches and apprentices
  • Ongoing comprehensive, bespoke training programmes, including reference and training materials, and CPD guidance
  • Award-winning brand recognition
  • National marketing and research to ensure campaigns with the best return on investment
  • Launch PR and ongoing media support
  • National call centre and online booking system
  • Fully optimised website with national and local SEO
  • Engaging social media activity and support
  • An expert advisory team, including ambassadors, to support business development
  • Conference and events with a growing network of experienced and friendly franchise partners

At Sports Xtra we abide by the principles of ethical franchising. We operate in accordance with the British Franchise Association’s (bfa) code of practice and Managing Director Rob Oyston currently holds a position on the bfa’s Board of Directors.


The Sports Xtra Brand Family

The Sports Xtra brand family brings together the very popular physical activity Xperiences and the fully developmental A-Star Sports multi-sports programme. For children aged 2-12 years, our product range is delivered predominantly through weekly classes, extra-curricular activities, holiday clubs and parties.

Our primary products include Xperiences such as Spy, Detective, Adventure, Futsal and Dance for children aged 5-12 years and the A-Star Sports multi-sports programme for children aged 2-12 years. New products continue to be developed in line with exciting brand and sport partnerships and have already been highlighted through our relationships with, for example, Vertigo Films, Warner Brothers and Support through Sport UK.


The most important people in our business are our coaches. Excellent coaches bring activities alive for children, engaging them and providing a positive experience, which is essential in any child adopting an active lifestyle.

We are continually looking to recruit the best staff. Whether you are already coaching, working in a parallel sector (such as PTs or dance teachers) or a young person considering a career in the sport and active leisure sector, we’d love to hear from you.

We offer apprenticeships at level 2 and level 3 and several hundred coaches have begun their careers with Sports Xtra through this programme. It’s an amazing way to get your career started!

What Now?

Thank you for your interest in our opportunities.

For franchise opportunities, please drop us a line at rob.oyston@sports-xtra.com or call Rob on 07863 183496. We would be very happy to talk through the Sports Xtra opportunity in more detail and send a copy of our prospectus.

For job opportunities and apprenticeships, please drop us a line at catherine.farrar@sports-xtra.com or call 08453 716121.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Registered company no: 06601975 | Registered in England & Wales | Company address: Sports Xtra (Franchising) Ltd, Cardiff Central Sports & Community Centre, Beignon Close (off Ocean Way), Cardiff, CF24 5HF | VAT no: 938 5190 94