Stay Active only publicly launched last year and now has 27 casual coaches to help deliver physical activity and sports programs to primary school–aged children.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in four Australian children are obese or overweight. Stay Active is a South Australian-owned company, determined to change this by providing physical activity and sports programs to primary schoolaged children in schools, vacation care and community settings. Stay Active’s founders Kipp Jones and Carly Fuda come from big families and were brought up to be healthy and active kids. Jones played every type of sport on offer to him while Fuda was a keen gymnast, later a dancer and now a Pilates instructor. Jones knew from an early age that he wanted to own his own business but wasn’t sure what that could be. He spent a number of years studying, which saw him undertake a Diploma of Marketing before completing a degree and graduate certificate, eventually finishing up with a Masters in Teaching. From a young age, Fuda had a passion to work with families and disadvantaged groups. After completing her studies, she spent 10 years working across various government sectors including child protection, health promotion and project management before moving into senior leadership positions in the private sector, gaining vital experience in business culture. While Jones was studying at university he wanted to gain practical experience working with children, so he delivered sports programs in schools. He quickly recognised that schools were crying out for quality coaches to deliver sports programs in and outside of school hours. Jones says that parents are great volunteers but utilising qualified coaches can add value to the health and PE curriculum. For two years, the idea of creating a business that could offer sport and physical activity programs for schools and parents was in discussion. In 2013, Stay Active became a registered business and this milestone reinforced the need to establish their mission and what their brand would represent. It wasn’t until September 2015 that Stay Active was launched to the public. “Some children don’t know how to throw a ball, kick or catch, simply because they have never done it before,” Jones says. “These simple movements we take for granted are all part of the fundamental movement skills we learn as a child and this is part of what we are offering in our programs. Not only do we offer sport specific programs but non-competitive multi-skill programs for children who don’t want to play sport or who may feel shy or less confident about team sports.” Their idea for Stay Active was first and foremost to offer children non-competitive activities, get kids moving, promoting active bodies and healthy minds, but have fun while doing it. They explain the importance of being healthy and active as a child can help enhance memory, concentration and academic achievement. “With 81 percent of Australian children aged five to 17 years not meeting the national physical activity recommendations, this sits at the very core of our company and is a constant motivator,” Fuda says. In April 2016, Stay Active won the Business Growth Award, as part of the THREESIXTY South Australian Young Entrepreneur Scheme (SAYES). Stay Active demonstrated the most growth over a 12-month period while participating in the SAYES program. “The SAYES program has grown our knowledge across each area of our business and provided us with the tools to apply this knowledge in a practical sense,” Fuda says. “SAYES is the perfect platform to launch your business in a supported environment.” The future is looking bright for this young business. Stay Active employs 27 casual employees and they are looking for more to join their team. They are hoping to expand their programs nationally. “National expansion has always been our vision for the company, after initially building a solid foundation in South Australia, before leading the way to healthier futures for children and communities around Australia,” Fuda says. stayactive.com.au This article is sponsored by