Little Kickers was founded by Christine Stanschus in London in 2002. She was looking for a football class that her pre-school aged son could join but found there was nothing available for that age group – so she set one up herself. With a career history in investment banking, Christine looked for experts in football and development to complement her skills and it’s been a recipe for success.
Now run from a head office in Blewbury, Oxfordshire, Little Kickers has grown to become the world’s biggest and most successful pre-school football academy. The company has a network of 1,500 coaches and 260 franchises in 20 countries from the UK to Australia, with plans to expand into other countries in future.
Little Kickers was built around the vision of ‘fun first’ and it was critical to Christine that child development was as important as the football itself. Christine and her team developed programmes to combine football skills with life skills and learning appropriate to pre-school children such as colour and number recognition, sharing and following instructions. They believe in ‘Play not Push’ which means football should be fun for the children, without any pressure on them so it’s a positive introduction to football – and sport in general to give them a good foundation to stay healthy and active as they continue through their lives.
Little Kickers is constantly evolving and improving based on feedback from child health specialists and the network of Little Kickers football coaches nationwide.