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Lane brings Kidsport scheme to UK and plans European rollout

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A concept aimed at promoting children’s development through physical activity is to launch in Watford this spring.

Catering for children from three months to 10 years old, Kidsport was originall developed as a franchise in the US.

Chris Lane, the entrepreneur behind Chris Lane Tennis and Health Club – which he sold to Whitbread in 2002 – acquired the world rights to Kidsport and plans to roll it out in the UK and Europe.

“Kidsport is not about developing sporting excellence,” said Lane. “It’s about using physical activity as a vehicle for improving children’s lifestyles.”

This includes developing children’s confidence, teaching them courage, perseverance, how to work with others and how to lose with dignity, as well as the basics of activity such as coordination, balance, throwing, and catching.

The concept caters for all children, particularly those with no natural talent for sport, said Lane: “Currently children can only experience physical activity in a competitive environment. We will be teaching ordinary children physical activity though a variety of different games and play.”

Lifestyle coaches will supervise the children – these may be teachers, sports coaches or “anyone who passionately believes that physical activity can enhance a child’s life,” said Lane.

Kidsport will also cater for adults offering exercise classes, sunbeds and a large café with quiet areas for parents wishing to work on laptops or relax while waiting for their children.

Catering for more than 300 children, the 20,000sq m Watford site will include a soft play area for all ages, day care, nursery school, sports hall, activity rooms, party rooms and exercise studios.

The facility is due to open in April and another 12 sites are under negotiation. Lane says he may also consider resurrecting the franchise in future depending on the success of the concept.

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A concept aimed at promoting children’s development through physical activity is to launch in Watford this spring.
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