"We believe that we have a concept which will change the way sport will be participated in for years to come. It's a great way to engage kids in sports because the UV minimises competition and maximises fun."
Daryl Day, BSc (Hons) Sports Studies
An enterprising sports duo from Staffordshire University is throwing new light on the benefit of sport and exercise.
Glow Active is a unique business which provides a range of glow in the dark sports activities and was co-founded by BSc (Hons) Sports Studies student Daryl Day and Sports Engagement Co-Ordinator Arron Dunn.
Arron originally came up with the idea to offer UV football at the Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre and Daryl saw an opportunity to develop the concept further.
“I worked for a company providing children's football parties and saw how popular it was. I thought, if your normal sports party is this successful then imagine what we could do with UV sports!” explained Daryl.
“There's only one other company in the UK that provides these kind of parties so we’re offering a really unique service.”
The pair formed the business 18 months ago and signed up to Staffordshire University's Be Inspired programme, which offers support and guidance for start-up businesses. Glow Active officially launched last October and has already turned over £10k, with the pair hosting multiple events each week.
Parties can choose from 11 different ground-based sports including football, squash, mini golf, badminton and netball, which are played with UV sports equipment and UV bibs.
“I've been doing this alongside my studies and Arron alongside his job so we're really pleased with the success that we've had so far. I'm graduating this summer and am really keen to grow the business even more.
“We've already done a lot of work within schools and want to branch out into charity events and corporate events too. We have even applied to appear on Dragon’s Den to help us take the business to the next level!”
The pair have grand plans and eventually hope to open a Glow Active warehouse where all of the UV sports on offer can be played on site. They have linked up with the Staffordshire University's School of Life Sciences and are offering placement opportunities to students and are keen to grow the partnership.
Daryl also used Glow Active as a case study for his dissertation which addresses ways of encouraging more girls to participate in sport. He carried out Glow Active sessions at three Staffordshire schools and found the variety in choice of sports and a focus on fun rather than competition were the most important issues for those who took part.
He said: “We believe that we have a concept which will change the way sport will be participated in for years to come. It's a great way to engage kids in sports because the UV minimises competition and maximises fun.
“When the lights go off, everyone becomes equal. Whatever your gender, race, weight, appearance or ability – it doesn't matter because no-one can see you. I think that helps people to let themselves go and have fun.”
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