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Little Kickers started in the UK in 2002. Christine Stanschus was living in London at the time and spotted a gap in the market when trying to find pre-school soccer classes for her son. Child obesity was becoming a hot topic and Christine couldn’t believe there weren’t pre-school classes to get young children involved in and enjoying sport, so she decided to do it herself.
With a successful career in investment banking rather than soccer coaching, it was clear she needed to play to her strengths in business and find soccer and developmental experts who could help her shape the classes.
It was a recipe for success. Christine focused on building a brand around “fun first” making sure she worked with experts in child development as well as FA qualified soccer coaches. Together they created programmes that would deliver high quality soccer skills, combined with important pre-school learning concepts such as colour and number recognition, sharing, following instructions and using imagination.
With a network of 2,250 coaches and over 300 franchises in 32 countries, we’re now the world’s biggest and most successful pre-school soccer academy and there’s plenty more to come. We’re constantly enhancing our classes with the help of our experts and we’re always happy to hear from people who want to become a franchisee and experience a better work/life balance while running a successful business.Our classes and our approach
We have four different soccer classes each tailored to a different age group. However, we have two core beliefs that we take into every session.
Firstly, we believe in something we call “Play not Push”. It means teaching soccer in a fun, pressure-free environment. We want to give children a positive introduction to sport as a whole, not just soccer , so they’re more likely to stay healthy and active throughout their lives.
Secondly, we believe soccer can be educational. Coached in the right way it can stimulate imagination and aid early development skills such as learning colours and numbers, following instructions and playing as a team.
It’s an approach that has bagged us numerous awards and helped us expand globally over the last 16 years. And like all our Kickers, we never stop learning. We’re continually improving and updating our classes, based on feedback and input from child health specialists as well as our network of over 2,250 soccer coaches worldwide.