“If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine”, said Vince Gowmon.
As children spend more time on their screens, we deny them the wonders of movement. These days, children are rarely seen playing outside, soaking in the full benefits of what play and movement have to offer.
Through physical activities, children learn social, cognitive and motor skills. Our ability to think and feel is wholly linked up to that of our ability to run and move. It is not complicated to get your child moving, all it takes is a football, as our partner Stacy Alogdellis, Founder of Soccajoeys Australia will tell you. WriteHaus Asia, sat down for a chat with him to learn more about what drives Soccajoeys and why children love it so much!
WHA: What drew you to design an early year’s programme almost 10 years ago?
SA: I have always had a passion for early childhood development, and during a weekend morning grassroots football game, I observed how many younger siblings wanted to get involved in the game with their older siblings. I started to do some research and found there were no football programs on offer for children aged 3-5 years. It was an opportunity to develop a possible business and, at the same time, create a programme that is community-based and gives young children a chance to develop valuable skills.
WHA: What are the strengths of the Soccajoeys programme?
SA: Soccajoeys has always reinvested in improving the business model, and making sure our programs are stimulating, fun, and age-appropriate. We want to create special moments for families and provide children with lifelong skills that not only include kicking a ball but help to build strong, resilient, and kind-hearted individuals. We recruit passionate, motivated, and astute Franchisees that are looking for long term success, and that understand the importance and significance of our motto – Developing skills for life.
WHA: What was the biggest challenge you faced when you tried to sell the programme to preschool/daycare centres in Australia?
SJ: We didn’t encounter many challenges; the main challenge was to meet the high demand for our program. We service more than 350 daycare centres around Australia, and some have been with us for many years, which demonstrates the need for building these community partnerships. Soccajoeys was embraced and welcomed by centre Directors, Private owners, and educators; we meet many of their learning requirements, and the kids love their Soccajoeys sessions.
WHA: What was a break-through moment for the programme in the early years of your operation?
SJ: Our first Franchisees were fantastic operators, and they were hugely successful in growing the program in their respective territories. We experienced exponential growth in the first 3 years of the company being franchised, and this allowed us to implement changes to help sustain the growth. We diversified our model to meet the growing demand for new products.
WHA: What is the most important outcome that a Soccajoeys child sees in the programme?
SJ: There are several outcomes, such as a child becoming more confident, more independent, improved cognitive skills, they become more resilient, children begin establishing new friendships, and they improve many gross motor functions. Soccajoeys provides a holistic approach to learning, and our programs are simply the vehicle to help build strong characters.
WHA: What makes Soccajoeys unique compared to other similar programmes in the market?
SJ: Soccajoeys has evolved and now offers 9 products, which have given Franchisees multiple revenue streams to grow their business. Franchisees are now in a position to generate revenue during 48 weeks of the year. Soccajoeys continues to develop and upgrade our training programs on a termly basis. We also have a Head Office team that consists of the Operations Manager, Marketing Director, admin staff, and our centralised head Office support team that attends to inquiries Australia wide.
WHA: How does Soccajoeys Australia constantly keep ahead as a market leader for the physical developmental programmes in Australia?
SJ: We have a team of qualified childhood professionals and football accredited coaches, that are continuously improving our programs and aligning them with all the necessary childhood development criteria. We have invested significantly in our online platforms and created a very efficient and streamlined online experience for our customers and franchisees. We’re continuing to work on new projects, partnerships, and exploring international markets.
WHA: How do you ensure the delivery by coaches and franchisees of the programme in over 350 centres, thus ensuring quality?
SJ: When franchisees enter our network, they go through a very stringent training process, which ensures that our franchisees are at a very high level for program and business delivery. This high standard is implemented on staff that franchisees bring into the network. We also have a policy in place where franchisees need to do spot visits at their locations for quality control and Head Office sends staff out to do evaluations of classes.
WHA: What is a powerful aspect of the SJ programme? E.g. what are experiences you have encountered that tell you that the programme works?
SJ: Historically, our business has grown exponentially, and we have now delivered programs to over 600,000 children since 2007, and we continue to grow year on year. Our customer surveys also indicate parent and director satisfaction in the program experience of 92%, meaning we have a very high retention rate in all our programs.
WHA: Where do you see SJ in the next 5 years?
SJ: Our company vision is to educate & develop the next generation of children globally, so that is at the forefront of everything we do. Followed by our mission, which is to be Australia’s leading childhood development program. We see ourselves as a company that will continue to deliver high-quality products & services, fostering children with the love of football and giving children healthy lifestyle habits. We will continue to work closely and support our franchise network, develop new business opportunities for our network and consolidate international partnerships.
“Yes, I can kick the ball into the goal!”, is the confidence that Writehaus Asia believes Soccajoeys inculcates into children. Hence, why we partnered with Soccajoeys Australia to establish the programme in Singapore. There are no small or big wins with Soccajoeys, it is about the everyday smiles and joy that we see on the children. Here’s to more big kicks!
For more information on the Soccajoeys programme ;
Call : (+65) 91881040 / (+65) 81007064
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
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