Caught: the sports bug

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Seven years ago Tim Le Feuvre developed Hot Shots, a system of teaching basic sporting skills to children aged between two and seven.

The scheme has proved so successful that he is extending it for older children and is about to set up franchises in the UK.

t all started because as a Lawn Tennis Association development coach, Mr Le Feuvre was finding that some children had no ball skills.

Then, when his son reached the age of two, Mr Le Feuvre looked around for activities but there were none for that age group.

I set it all up in my garden, things like throwing balls into hoops.

The first week I started I had about 50 kids a week – now there are 350 each week,’ he said.

he tried and tested formula uses special equipment to encourage hand-eye co-ordination and skills in throwing, catching, kicking, striking and dexterity – the ‘building blocks’ for sport.

It’s also about a fit and healthy approach to life, says Mr Le Feuvre, in a world of push-button TV, video and computer games.

ot Shots uses two venues in Jersey – the table tennis clubhouse at FB Fields and the Les Frères Boys Brigade hall in St John.

However, in order to set up the franchise in the UK he has had to change the name to Sports Bug.

In April this year I contacted Franchise Development Services in the UK and someone came over and wrote a report, which was very promising,’ he said.

‘Unfortunately the trade mark for Hot Shots had already been taken by a German company, which is completely unrelated to our business.

I was really sad about it at first because Hot Shots has been part of our lives for seven years.

Needless to say, Sports Bug has been registered as a trade mark and the licence approved in Jersey, ready for the name change next month.

A Sports Bug advertising campaign is in the pipeline, too, with the nifty strapline ‘Catch the Sports Bug’.

r Le Feuvre also plans to introduce Sports Bug Junior, to enable children between 7 and 11 to specialise in specific sports like tennis, soccer, hockey and tri-golf.

He has already enlisted the help of several professionals on a subcontract basis – tennis coach James Cox and golf coaches Tim Gilpin and James Evans – and is looking for new venues in this Island and in Guernsey.

r Le Feuvre said: ‘Once children start their training they come on in leaps and bounds, even within half a term.

The main thing is to make it fun for them.

It’s also a good way of spotting talent,’ he added, pointing out champion golfer Max Feighan, aged three.

nd it’s a great job for a coach.

‘I’m having the best time of my life – I’m like a big kid myself,’ said Mr Le Feuvre, with a broad smile.

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