A business helping to manage sporting injuries at grassroots level has secured a Coast to Capital Expansion Loan. Croydon based Return2Play (R2P) will use the funds to support full roll-out of their existing product as well as expand the offering across further sports and injuries.
The brainchild of Dr Sam Barke – a sports doctor – and Nick Somers, Return2Play was developed as a web-based tool to manage incidences of concussion in amateur Rugby Union. Both keen former players and now with connections to the youth sport, their own experiences left them concerned about the welfare of players, particularly children, following head injuries. Despite comprehensive guidelines issued by World Rugby in how to manage a suspected concussion, it was evident that no single system existed to monitor the traumas occurring across all sports in schools and clubs.
Sam explains: “The Rugby Football Union guidelines give a clear pathway to be followed after a concussion to ensure symptoms are recognised and players don’t return to the game too soon. However, the logistics of making sure the relevant people are kept informed, the right advice is received at the right time, tracking symptoms during recovery and being certified fit by an appropriate person can be hard to keep on top of, particularly when an individual is playing in more than one setting and, in some cases, more than one sport. Our software provides a platform where these details can be easily entered by players or parents and made available to coaches, teachers etc. across all relevant environments.”
The concussion recovery pathway are now followed by many sports with a significant risk of concussion and across the education sector. The R2P platform has been developed to reflect this pathway, ensuring players take all of the necessary steps over the required timeframe to allow them to resume play safely. As well as helping to make sure player health comes first, the platform also gives a clear audit trail for compliance purposes.
The Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme is funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Having already been awarded a grant from Coast to Capital LEP to develop the product for other concussion risk sports, the company will now use its loan to take on new staff, capitalise on opportunities in the pipeline, further develop the multi-sports product and look at the potential to expand across different injury types.
Nick Somers, CEO, explains: “Return2Play created 2 new full-time roles in 2017 in response to increased membership numbers from UK schools and clubs. We announced this week that we had expanded internationally and partnered with our first overseas National Governing Body and I look forward to confirming similar arrangements in a number of countries in the coming months. I have every confidence that our innovative work will see some strategic alliances formed in 2018 with firms which also have an interest in supporting grassroots sports to thrive. The FSE Group has invested a great deal of time to understand exactly what Sam and I want for Return2Play and I’m certain that the Coast to Capital loan is the right solution for us. I would urge any company seeking to capitalise on opportunities and requiring funding to approach Jon Cornell.”
Jon Cornell, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the expansion loan scheme on behalf of Coast to Capital LEP, says: “With an excellent depth of knowledge and contacts within Rugby Union, the Return2Play team has developed a unique product to fill an evident gap. They are already working with Hong Kong Rugby Union, some senior clubs and a number of prominent schools to promote transparency in concussion management. We look forward to continuing to work with them as they seek to replicate this success across other sports.”
The Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital LEP. The escalator, which also includes a growth equity fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £500,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the Coast to Capital region.
For more information about the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Jon Cornell at Jon.Cornell@thefsegroup.com tel: 07786 912674.