Friday, September 9, 2016

News: Kickstart for footgolf in Rotherham

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An enterprising Rotherham player has been helped a fair way by the UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund in setting up the borough's first dedicated footgolf course.

The relatively new sport is played on a golf course using a size 5 football. The object of the game is to get the ball into the hole using only your feet in the fewest number of shots possible.

Inspired by attending a Footgolf course a few years ago, local entrepreneur Nicholas Burns decided it was time to be his own boss and in April 2016 he brought the sport – commonly used by businesses for team building sessions - to Rotherham.

Having never ran a business before, he turned to The Princes' Trust who assigned a mentor to help build his business plan, and a vital cash injection of £500 from the Kickstart Fund enabled him to purchase essential marketing material such as signage, flyers and the development of a company logo for Rotherham FootGolf.

UK Steel Enterprise, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, was launched in 1975 to support the economic development of steel industry areas, to this day it has helped over 6,000 businesses with investments upwards of £88m, and has created over 75,000 jobs.

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Based at Herringthorpe Valley Park, the start up company plans to create two new jobs over the next two years, with Nicholas also working towards opening another site in the local area in the future.

Burns (pictured, right) said: "The funding from UK Steel Enterprise and the Kickstart fund meant I was able to push ahead with purchasing marketing material including the logo, signs for the site and flyers to be distributed locally to help drum up interest.

"The reaction so far from our customers who are travelling from all over Yorkshire has been great, and we're already building a strong return customer base. Over the coming months and years I hope that will result in expansion of our Herringthorpe operation, as well as growth into new sites."

Launched in February 2016 by UKSE, with support from RIDO and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, the Kickstart Fund consists of a £40,000 pot dedicated to supporting people looking to establish a business in the area.

Keith Williams, regional manager at UK Steel Enterprise (pictured, left), said: "Since launching the Kickstart Fund earlier in the year we're delighted to have supported a number of entrepreneurs operating across a diverse range of sectors to get their businesses off the ground.

"A Footgolf course is perhaps one of the more quirky companies and it's great to be involved in something that's bringing something a little more unusual to the area."

Rotherham Footgolf Facebook page
UKSE website

Images: UKSE


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