If you’ve ever used a particular product or service and wondered, ‘how did they even come up with this idea? It’s genius!’, or if you’ve been keen to find out the person behind the idea, you won’t be alone! Lots of you ask us how Coacha evolved, who’s idea it was, where did the idea stem from; and we love telling the story!
This week we’re introducing Co-Founder Chris. Being a keen athlete and active competitor in his own right, Chris is well-accustomed to the ups and downs that come with learning, competing and coaching. At nearly 40 years of age, Chris still competes nationally and internationally in his current obsession, Brazillian JiuJitsu. Having recently received his Brown Belt in BJJ, he is also responsible for the training of the competitors for Gracie Barra Gloucester.
Chris was the person who initially came up with the idea for Coacha quite a few years back. Chris led his own department in the Marketing and Graphic Design industry with Co-Founder Jason for years. Eventually setting up their own Web Design and Digital Marketing agency back in 2001, Chris was more than equipped with the skills to build products just like Coacha for their clients. So, when the time came to find a piece of software for his own coaching needs, there was only one way to do it…
The Important Stuff
Tea or Coffee?: Coffee.
How do you take your Coffee?: Strong.
What did you want to be when you were younger?: I wanted to be a Marine Biologist.
An interesting fact about you?: I’m a Qualified Nutrition Advisor.
What did you do before Coacha?: Before Coacha I had spent my life in Marketing. I began as an office junior and worked my way up to managing a department. This was in the very early days of the Web and I was fortunate to be on the crest of the wave. Quickly I moved into developing systems and processes for web-based applications. Eventually, myself and Jason began our Digital Marketing and development business, and the rest is history!
Where did the idea of Coacha come from?: I’ve been involved in sports coaching from the age of about 17 and a consistent theme in the last 20 years has been the ‘admin’ associated with running sports clubs.
One day I was watching my wife (who is also a Coach/Programme Director) leave the house with a pile of folders and thought… there must be a better way! I sat down and investigated the viable options out there for her specific needs. There weren’t any!
Sure, there were lots of ‘Gym management’ solutions in the marketplace. But none that were extremely simple to use, cost effective and cloud based (so that she could take it with her wherever she was).
When we couldn’t find a piece of existing software on the market to suit our needs, the idea of Coacha was born and we never looked back.
Do you have any hobbies?: Martial Arts, Coaching & Nutrition.
Your favourite place to get away?: Any Forest.
The very important stuff
Are you interested in Sport yourself?: I am a lifelong martial artists and sportsman. In my early years I played national level Volleyball, Basketball and Badminton. I have also been involved in the Martial Arts since about the age of 7 when my mum took me to a local Judo Club. I have Black Belts in several Japanese Martial Arts, Instructor certification in specific Chinese Martial Arts, and now am absorbed in my quest for the illustrious Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a quest that has proven more difficult and demanding than any other I have undertaken in the Martial Arts.
Were there any other names in the mix, or was it always ‘Coacha’?: For a while we were called ‘Ongo’… I have no idea how that came about!
What’s the best thing about being a Director and Founder?: Planning the future of the company and seeing my team driving to make Coacha a leading light in Sports Club Management is a constant source of enjoyment.
What’s your favourite part of your job?: The way Coacha actually works and how the user interface looks largely falls on my shoulders. Seeing my vision become a reality through the various iterations of the product is extremely satisfying.
What’s the least favourite part of your job?: Waiting for New Developments to be completed can be painful, especially when I know how much they will help our amazing user base.
What are your ambitions for the future?: To grow the functionality and user experience of our product as much as possible, without compromising its simplicity. We believe that through our software, through getting people to use it because it is easy, we can begin to improve important things like child safeguarding in sport and the widespread adoption of best practices.