A Middlesbrough based sports school has celebrated 25 years in business by hosting 25 school holiday courses attended by 1161 young people.

Simon Carson Sports School (SCSS), based at the Acklam Green Centre in Middlesbrough, ran the day-long courses within primary schools and facilities across Tees Valley and North Yorkshire over the Easter Holiday, coinciding with the company’s ‘silver’ anniversary this April.  The courses comprised of activities including football, rugby, netball, dodgeball, cricket and dance, led by SCSS’s team of fully qualified and accredited coaches.

The business was established by football and sports enthusiast Simon Carson in April 1993 and started with just an additional member of staff and a home-based office. It has grown from offering football coaching alone to a multi-sports school with 39 employees and a professional headquarters at the Whinney Banks based business and community facility.

Over the year the business has coached a number of high-profile names including former Tottenham Hotspur footballer Michael Dawson, sprinter Richard Kilty, table tennis champion Paul Drinkhall and actor Jamie Bell.

Simon attributes his success to “getting in at the right time” when there was little competition, combined with plenty of networking within the school community and by offering free taster sessions in the early days while he established the SCSS brand.

Speaking about how the business first originated, Simon commented: “I’d always had a keen interest in football going back to when I coached my mum’s Cub Scouts’ football team at the age of 14. I came across a contact through some scouting work I was doing who was successfully running sports schools in Norwich and saw an opportunity to repeat his success here in the North East.

“I’ve got to where I am through sheer persistence. I was in touch with around 100 schools in the first 13 weeks to get myself out there. I made a beeline for newly qualified teachers who would see the benefits of what I was doing to extend children’s access to physical activity, many of whom are now headteachers and ongoing contacts in schools today,” he added.

Five years ago SCSS moved into office space at Acklam Green Centre which has provided a professional base from which to manage the business and promote its offer to schools across the area.  The facility, which boasts football pitches and a multi-use games area, in addition to office, meeting and conference space, was also one of the host venues for the 25 anniversary courses.

Simon Carson commented: “I am delighted with the growth the Acklam Green Centre has enabled our Sports Schools to achieve over the past five years.  We benefit from access to the excellent meeting and conference rooms, sports facilities and fantastic office space, providing us with all of the facilities we need under one roof.”

Donna Smith, facilities manager for Acklam Green Centre, said: “We are pleased to see Simon Carson Sports School celebrating 25 years in business. They have been a fantastic tenant within the Acklam Green Centre over the past five years and we are glad to have played a part in supporting their growth by providing a professional business environment from which to operate.”

Going forward Simon plans to maintain SCSS’s position in the market and to grow not-for-profit spin-off company Game of Actual Life (GOAL), which teaches primary school children important life and financial education lessons.  Further plans to mark SCSS’s 25 years include staging a football match between the company’s 11 newest members of staff and 11 previous staff members from over the years.

For further information about Simon Carson Sports School call 07794 281398 or visit www.simoncarsonsportsschool.com

For further information about Acklam Green Centre call 01642 811120, email info@acklam-green-centre.com or visit www.acklam-green-centre.com.