FOOTBALL is helping a young entrepreneur buck the recession.
Chris Parr, 26, set up ProScore Academy when he was fresh out of university six years ago and the company, which is a football academy for three to 11-year-olds, has gone from strength to strength.
Chris, from Orrell, now has contracts with the NHS as well as councils across Lancashire and Yorkshire and is looking to expand into the West Midlands early next year.
He said: “The recession has passed us by really and I think the main reason for that is because this is a service for children that will only benefit them.
“Football is our national sport and parents and their children really get behind it, especially in Liverpool which is one of our main areas at the moment.”
The company, based at Rainford Hall in Billinge, started as a one-man operation but now employs 15 people, and this will expand further once the West Midlands branch of the company is up and running.
The company goes into schools and runs football classes with primary school children and one of the main events it runs is a fund-raising soccer shoot-out.
The children are sponsored for the event, which has so far raised more than £6,000 for Action For Children.
Chris said: “As well as being great fun there is also a more serious message behind the event, especially where the younger children are concerned.
“The NHS have noted high levels of obesity in children between the ages of three to five and so have made it possible for us to run 10 sessions a week with this age group.
“For children that age it is very important that their introduction to physical activity and sport is an enjoyable one because the more they enjoy it the more likely they are to carry on being active as they grow up.”
The former Up Holland High School pupil is determined to continue expanding his business and has his sights firmly set on what the next five years will hold.
In the next year he will open a West Midlands office as well as launching the company’s own brand of sports equipment which will be supplied to schools at discounted rates.
And within the next five years he hopes to open up an office in Florida, to take his brand of soccer to America.
He said: “I am really proud of the model I’ve created and I am very confident in our service and think that within the next five years it will be strong enough to introduce into the States.”