FRANCHISING STARS: 10 Minutes with Kidz ‘n sport’s Mike Mellor

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

In this installment of FRANCHISING STARS, we interview the hugely successful Kidz ‘n sport’s Franchisor and Director, Mike Mellor.



Tell us about how Kidz ‘n sport was conceived:

Kidz ‘n sport was conceived by the two experiences that I had below:
As a school physical education teacher I became very dissatisfied at the lack of value being created in schools during Phys Ed lessons. There was insufficient equipment and the syllabus was just game orientated. I wanted every pupil to develop skills in order to encourage them to play sport and to exercise. The Phys Ed programme at schools was not delivering that.

The enjoyment that I had when engaging with my two young children in sporting activities also inspired me to start the Kidz ‘n sport programme. They both thrived on the fun that we derived from participating in the unique movement and sporting activities that I developed for them.

What is unique about Kidz ‘n sport and a key driver in attracting stakeholders?

We have developed a solution to tackle obesity head on. Our programme is achieving incredible results with young children and it is gaining great momentum in the marketplace. Parents and schools love what we have on offer and can see the benefits to their children first hand.

We are not only getting great physical results but also the development of self confidence, listening and behaviour skills, team work and greater social skills as well.

Our programme is designed around enjoyment as well as the development of skills in an accelerated way.

We have developed everything from scratch. We have our own manuals, a unique set of equipment that has been custom made for us and  a registered patent on a product that advances children’s skills in an accelerated way. Our point of difference is how we are able to get children of all ability levels, to engage in exercise, movement and sport.

We are  a mobile business as everything has been designed in order to be able to set up and then dismantle to fit into our vans. This makes us extremely versatile as we are not limited to any specific venue.

Our Franchisees and coaches have to undergo rigorous training and get accredited before starting to coach. The training manual and DVD for all our coaching teams are very advanced and extremely thorough and help us in having the best coaches in this industry.

We have developed a great website that franchisees use as part of their businesses.

Our branding is very powerful as our vans really do stand out on the road.

The above systems set us apart from our competition.

What is the biggest challenge right in your particular business and the sector you trade in?

Finding the right people to become franchisees, that have the same passion and commitment to our goals.

We look for people that are committed to helping young children to develop and advance.
It is not easy finding these people, that are prepared go the extra mile in assisting young children to become happier, healthy and more active .

What is going to be the focus for Kidz ‘n sport in the next year?

To find motivated franchisees that align with our values and also to put more people out there that can represent our brand in a highly professional way. If we do not find the right people as Franchisees then we will train our own hand selected people to deliver our product around Australia and overseas.

What qualities do you look for in a prospective franchisee and how does that tie in with the Kidz ‘n sport brand?

People  with the following attributes:

The above qualities link in with our commitment to very high operating standards and ensuring that we are driven by adding value to the children that attend our programmes.

How do you benchmark franchisee success?

We have Key Performance Indicators for each programme that we run.

These KPI’s link directly back to financial performance.
Franchisees need to enter their results onto a spreadsheet that helps us compare current numbers with previous years.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Knowing that every child is gaining a massive amount of benefit by attending programmes that my franchisees run. We transform children in not only the physical domain but also the cognitive and social domains as well.

Define ‘success’ in five words.

Commitment and passion bring success

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date and why?

My father has been my biggest influence. A legend of a human being, that had an insatiable appetite to always improve on things. He was an incredibly humble man especially during his success. He always gave more credit to the people around him than he gave to himself.

As a business owner he was passionate about finding ways to give his customers greater value.

Having been involved in the Great Escape, during the second world war, made him a person that always seeked to find solutions for things. He never gave up and after going broke at the age of sixty he picked himself up and got going and developed a wonderful business.

His honesty, integrity and kindness as a businessman was a gift that I doubt could be matched.

Do you currently have any corporate social responsibility initiatives?

Yes, we have teamed up with Telethon to become an approved continual donor to this great cause.

We raised $1600 at the Telethon weekend. When our franchise team set up and ran activities free of charge. We have recently been approved to run programmes year round where we will raise funds for this great cause. At our next franchise meeting we will be setting a target $ amount to achieve  for the next 12 months. We believe that the Telethon cause is very close to our core value of helping young people to live better lives.

About Mike Mellor & Kidz ‘n sport:

I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a post Graduate Diploma in Education, majoring in Physical Education.

I started Kidz ’n sport 15 years ago as a long lasting passion of mine to help accelerate exercise and sporting skills to young children.

I started with a few children and word of mouth soon spread as children attending my programmes were getting incredible value.

I soon realised that what I was doing could be replicated and started to document every activity that I created. This was often done at night after a long days coaching. I began to hand draw the diagrams and key points of every coaching session. As the business started to grow so did my enthusiasm to make it better .

I started to look for equipment that could help me deliver what I was doing. Very little was available that was applicable to the 3- 8 year age group. I then started on the idea of creating our own equipment. Today our mobile basketball units, netball units, throwing nets, rebound nets, goals, agility poles and all of our branded inflatable products are the result of 15 years of dedicated focus to get it right.

My two children have been a catalyst in helping me get where we are today. Not only have they been the trial for many an activity they also have done heaps of part time coaching for me after they left school.

My son now plays a vital role and works full time in the business as a Head Coach and on the administration side.

My wife has played a key part of our business success being involved in our administration and coaching from day 1. She has been the anchor behind our progress and been there for me every step of the way.

It is indeed a family business as my daughter looks after the accounting side of Kidz ’n sport.

We now have 9 successful franchisees in Perth and Sydney.

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