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Sportball Franchise - Interview with Jason D'Rocha, Director of Training

Jason D'Rocha has worked in the field of Childhood development and education for over 10 years, possessing a degree in Psychology and experience in the field of cognitive and behavioral therapy.  He is the Director of Training at Sportball, one of Canada's leading providers of non-competitive sports instruction for children.  He is responsible for training and supporting coaches and franchisees across Canada, the United States and Singapore.  He is also a devoted husband and a father to a happy and energetic 2 year old girl.

Please answer the following questions:

1.What is the Sportball franchise opportunity all about?
With a growing awareness of the need to get children active and engaged, Sportball is a leader in providing non-competitive sports instruction to children ranging in age from 16 months to 12 years. Sportball programs encourage healthy, active living starting with our Junior and Parent and Child Classes - By applying our educationally based methodology, we help the youngest children to develop socially and physically, through a curriculum designed to reinforce self-confidence free from the pressure of competition. Our programs focus on the development of gross motor skills, along with balance, stamina, strength, co-ordination, and timing. This opportunity is focussed on both primary urban centers and secondary markets with a population of 100,000 +

2.Who is your ideal candidate for a Sportball franchise?
Young professionals who are passionate about working with children and recognize the benefits of activity based programming in childhood development.

3.What type of training and support do you offer Sportball franchisees?
Our Franchisees are provided with up to 2 weeks initial training in curriculum, methodology, scheduling, program delivery and all administrative and business functions. In addition, ongoing training and support is provided through market visits, online and video training and ready access to the Franchisor.
4.What are some of the advantages in being a Sportball franchisee?
Sportball provides a supportive culture and an extensive digital library of training videos and marketing support material. In addition our brand positioning, area specific websites, online registration capability and the growing awareness and demand for professional children’s sports and activity based programming.
5.Are you a member of any Associations?
Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), International Franchise Association (IFA), VetFran.

6.Tell us a little about the Children’s Recreation and Fitness Market?
There is a growing awareness globally as to the need to get kids active and engaged. Growing awareness creates the potential for growing demand and Sportball is well positioned to take advantage of that growth. At Sportball we all share one common interest and commitment; to try to make a difference in children's lives. We do that one child at a time and one class at a time. It is not a convenient turn of phrase – It is a guiding principle in our business. While working to make a difference in the lives of children, becoming part of the Sportball Team can change your life as well. Ours is a home based opportunity thereby limiting ongoing external office operating expenses. We run programs right in the Communities in Community Centers, Child Care Spaces, Schools, Places of Worship and Green paces thereby limiting your investment in bricks and mortar fixed locations. You can run in areas where your target customer lives and when the demographic shifts you can relocate to new neighborhood.

7.How successful is your company today and what are your future growth plans?
Sportball started in 1995 in Toronto, Canada and today has operations across Canada, in select U.S States and offshore in Singapore. As a leading provider in this space, we recognize that awareness is growing for high quality programming and it is our intention to continue to grow in North America and offshore the meet that demand.

8.What are your franchisees saying about the business?

In joining the team, it became apparent very quickly of the positive impact that the Sportball program had on children. We also developed an appreciation for the successful business model.  Even more importantly, we felt rewarded in doing good work for the children and families in our community.   

We could not help but be impressed by not only the professionalism, but also the feeling of family and support within the organization.  

There is a permeating sense within the company that everyone would do just about anything to help you succeed.  We were provided with an abundance of resources and tools to run a successful business, with seemingly every aspect well thought out and planned for.  .

The ongoing support from the corporate office is outstanding and the resources the Company provides Franchisees make it easy to ensure that the business stays efficient and organized.  
9.What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Do your homework and make sure the Industry and Company are a good fit.
Ensure that the Franchisor is available to provide support and the resources you will need to be successful.

Make sure that your philosophy is aligned with the culture of the organization.

10.In your opinion, why do you think that Sportball would be a great opportunity for someone?
Sportball provides the opportunity to set your own schedule and chart your own course. Our business allows for its Franchise Partners to work in an industry that combines an active, outdoor and sports oriented lifestyle with a business that offers a range of rewards not the least of which is the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives.

Joe DePinto of 7-Eleven

Joe DePinto is president and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., the premier company in convenience retailing. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 61,000 7 Eleven stores, including more than 10,900 stores in North America.