As the Six Nations kicks off this weekend, we’ll all be marveling in the athletic prowess of the players.
However, one Irish rugby survey found the average professional rugby player’s career lasted just seven years and New Zealand rugby players’ association found the average retirement age for its professionals was 32.
So, many players will be looking for new careers after their time on the pitch professionally has ended.
For some, there will be the opportunity to do something they’ve always desired – to start up their own business.
It’s a well-trodden path for sportspeople.
Sporting stars who have successfully made the transition into business include:
Steve White-Cooper – The former England rugby international worked in recruitment after his retirement and launched his own niche recruitment business, Add-Victor.
Mark Colbourne – The para-cyclist who won gold in the London 2012 Olympics has run businesses including health supplements and cycling retreats. He is now a business growth coach helping other entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses.
Robbie Fowler – The former England and Liverpool striker won a rare triple with his club in 2001, the League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup. In the early 2000s he founded a race horse investment business with friend Steve McManaman, The Macca and Growler Partnership. He also founded Robbie Fowler Sports Promotions and became a successful property investor.
Alix Popham – The ex-Wales rugby international founded Hub XV which creates business hubs and co-working spaces at high-profile sporting grounds including Bath Racecourse and Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, the home of Glamorgan Cricket Club.
Xavier Rush – The former All Black has established a hair transplant clinic, Head Quarters, in Cardiff and is a successful property developer.
Andy and Steve Moore – Former Wales rugby internationals, the Moore brothers launched Athletic Career Transition (ACT) with the help of Sir Steve Redgrave. It makes introductions for sportspeople looking to make the transition to the business world.
Serena Williams – The most successful female tennis player in the modern game, she launched a venture capital firm Serena Ventures which looks to back entrepreneurs, particularly women and people of colour, and has invested in more than 30 businesses since 2014 including meal delivery services, an online course provider, a co-working start-up, and a razor company. She has also built her own clothing line and served on the advisory boards of businesses including Verizon Media and Survey Monkey.
Venus Williams – The former Wimbledon champion has founded two businesses, V Starr Interiors and sportswear company EleVen.
Lucy Cohen, a former Powerlifter and the co-founder of award-winning accountancy business Mazuma, said: “Sportspeople have many attributes which would make a business successful.
“They know how to set goals and achieve them, they understand the need for small, marginal gains to change the big picture, and they are disciplined.
“Sportspeople know that you have to put the work in to achieve good results.
“They are also relatively young when they come to the end of their sporting careers, so are looking for new directions in life.
“Starting a business is an excellent way of providing them with the focus they need.”
Lucy’s advice to would-be sporting entrepreneurs:
For further information or to arrange an interview with Lucy Cohen, please call Maria Williams on 07790 654274.
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