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After a decade of working in the insurance industry, Rick Cartner decided to follow his passion for football and became a FootyTotz franchise owner.

Cartner (pictured top) said: “I’d always wanted to be a footballer when I was young, I suppose it’s every young lad’s dream, but my desire to be involved with the sport never went away. After being offered redundancy, I decided it was my time to get out of the insurance industry and look for a job linked with football.

“I took another job to fund FA Level 1 and 2 qualifications at Bolton Wanderers. After I’d qualified as a coach, I started training Denton Youth Girls Team and loved it. I’ve always been good with children so I found it easy to communicate with the girls – I felt like I’d found my calling in life.

“I first heard about FootyTotz three years ago, when my brother-in-law handed me one of their leaflets. He suggested I enroll my son, aged three at the time, but I saw the opportunity as something bigger.

“As a father, the fact that the FootyTotz programme provides a structure of learning, development and care through the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage is really appealing – and I know it is for other mums and dads too.

“I approached Charles and Shirley, the founders of FootyTotz, about becoming a franchise owner and went to watch a weekend session at Marple. I loved it and thought the combination of football and education was perfect for the children.

“I began to help out at FootTotz sessions and built up my experience. I became a fully-fledged franchise owner in August 2009, when I took over FootyTotz’s Tameside franchise area. There were 23 children attending the classes back then – now there are over 600 taking part every week!

“Being a franchise owner is so rewarding if you’re willing to be hands on and have a real passion for the job. The income you can earn as a franchise owner is significant and I love being my own boss.

“I suffered for more than a decade with anxiety attacks. Now that I own my own FootyTotz franchise, I don’t get any. My quality of life is so much better and I get to meet lots of different people.”

“It’s great to see parents meeting each other and becoming friends, or seeing kids with learning disabilities really progress. I love it when parents say: ‘It’s down to you and FootyTotz’.

“I want to continue to build my franchise area. I hope to be able to make my part-time staff full-time soon. It’s important to keep pushing the FootyTotz name out there, it really is inspirational.”


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