A-Star Sports has been included in the prestigious Startups 100 list, one of the most coveted accolades for the UK’s business newcomers.

Established in November 2011 by three couples – Gary and Sharon Bassett, Kevin and Caroline Key, and Alister and Lorna Ramm – A-Star Sports is a franchise that provides multi-sports coaching for children as young as two years old and up to 10 years old.

Gary Basset said: “The Startups 100 list seeks out the companies with real potential, businesses which are likely to go on to be major providers of jobs, growth and business innovation in the future.

“It is a great honour to be included in this select band and to have the approbation of your peers in the business world, especially after such a short time in full-scale operation.”

The company now has 11 territories throughout Scotland and England, and is on target for 40 within three years. Kevin Key said: “It’s a really engaging proposition for people from all sorts of backgrounds. In our founding team and amongst our franchise owners, we have former HR and Marketing Director, banking and insurance specialists and those that have come through a more traditional coaching route. With the right training and support this is a really fulfilling career option.”

The Startups 100 was launched in 2008 and was the first and bar-setting countdown of the top 100 new companies in the country. The criteria for listing include innovation, impressive achievements, a viable business model and growth potential.

Steph Welstead, of Startups, said: “Previous winners have gone on to phenomenal success. Huddle, Shortlist Media, Naked Wines, Wonga and Zoopla are just a few of our alumni, and we have equally high hopes for the companies on our latest list.”

She said that A-Start Sports’ franchise business is designed to make sport fun and accessible for children, and its peer-reviewed programme include weekly classes, parties and holiday club places, as well as regular sessions in nurseries, playgroups and schools, which are attracting more than 3,000 attendees per week.

A-Star Sports franchise owners are offered a full training package to get them started and ongoing support, including help with finance, marketing, general management, health and safety, HR and the benefit of a regularly reviewed coaching programme.


Sharon Bassett said: “We obviously are looking for franchise owners who have a passionate interest in sport, but it’s every bit as important that they have a real affinity with children and an energetic view of how to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle from a young age. At all times, the kids come first.”

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