AN AWARD-WINNING business that helps coach schoolchildren admits it faces a battle to survive – just weeks after being recognised by TV Dragon Theo Paphitis.Inspire Sports Coaching won the Small Business Sunday Award after delivering sessions to adults and young people, as well as eight schools, including Stalybridge’s Buckton Vale and St Raphael’s Primary, Hyde’s Arundale, Dowson and St Paul’s and Dukinfield’s Broadbent Fold.
But the coronavirus crisis, which has seen schools and gyms around the country close down, has left the company struggling.
And Wayne Williams, of Inspire Sports Coaching, admits times are hard, saying: “The coronavirus situation has had a huge detrimental impact on my business, I practically lost it overnight.
“Inspire Sports Coaching delivers sports sessions in schools and now the schools have closed, they don’t need us so we have lost a substantial amount of work.
“The other strand of our business is personal training and small group fitness sessions for adults and families. Now the gyms have closed we can’t carry out that aspect of our business either.
“We are trying to remain positive and are moving all our training online, even offering free sessions of family fitness to help keep children active while they are not in school.
“But realistically my business has been destroyed overnight.
“I really hope as a community we can pull through this uncertain time and inspire sports coaching is dedicated to provide a service for our children and young people again, as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
The current situation is a long way away from the high of winning the prestigious Small Business Sunday Award from Paphitis, who stars on BBC show Dragons Den.
The award, run through Twitter and known as #SBS, singles out small businesses who show passion and determination in their industry.
They were created by Paphitis as a way of supporting small businesses and include ongoing support and networking opportunities to help independent businesses flourish.
And Wayne, who also works with Ashton’s Oasis Academy, admitted he was thrilled to receive it.
He added: “I felt truly honoured to receive this award.
“We wanted to put Tameside and Manchester on the map and showcase the incredible work we do to get children and families more active.”