KIDS SPORTS & CREATIVE ACTIVITIES TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Just when you think there aren’t any new ideas out there – along comes a business which turns things inside out and upside down at the same time as thumbing its nose at boring and
predictable! Brain child of Lynda Regan, Wildchild was born to Lynda and sports coach husband, Kieran, four years ago when she found herself uninspired and unimpressed by what was out there in the way of kids activities. She wanted professionally-run, non-traditional, innovative, active and imaginative stuff which her sons would immediately identify with. And she wasn’t alone, other parents it turned out, were also casting around for something different – sadly, no activity organisers seemed to be listening!
So, not being a woman given to sitting on her hands, and having spotted such a gaping hole in the market,
Lynda promptly set about plugging it! And very successful it’s proved too, with delighted children of all abilities, ages and backgrounds being introduced to Wildchild’s cool, mould-breaking way of doing things, including Wild & Active and Wild & Creative, Holiday Activities; Wild Birthday Parties and of course, Wild School Multi Sports, Teambuilding and Outdoor Education Programmes.
What’s so different about Wildchild? Lynda thinks, it’s probably because everything they do is from the kids’ perspective and she doesn’t hesitate to use her own, for valuable input. ‘Awesome’ it seems, is the ultimate accolade and it’s aiming for awesome that shapes Wildchild’s offerings, with something to appeal to all children - those who love sport and those who don’t; those who can’t wait to orienteer and zip-wire in the woods; those who are thrilled to discover archery or skateboarding; budding Disneys who yearn to learn how to make their own animated films or those with a fascination for fashion.
What unites the all the various Wildchild activities – apart from them being awesome fun – is that they’re about self-esteem and the discovery of hitherto unsuspected talents. Wildchild teaches children how important and rewarding it is to be part of a team, and shows natural leaders how to pause, value and respect quieter individuals for their skills which may not always be immediately obvious, but which prove invaluable when a group’s working together.
As Lynda points out ‘These sort of experiences teach lessons which don’t fade and are taken forward into the future.’ Wildchild has of course, also tapped into parents’ consciousness and concern about exercise and health as well as the constraints on independence that the press and our own perceptions impose and which stop our kids enjoying many of the freedoms we never thought twice about.
Four years down the line - on the way having won, Best New Business 2009, FSB Awards; been shortlisted for Best New Business 2009, Hertfordshire Business Awards, and qualifying as an Archery leader - Lynda and her husband Kieran have built the Wildchild business and brand to a level, where Franchising is simply the next logical step.
Although, Lynda and Kieran say one of the best things about the business is that most of the time, it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ at all, they’ve nevertheless built a highly professional operation, from the ground up, in a way many other businesses would envy. Although this may be, concedes Lynda, because neither of them can ever bear to see their brainchild presented in a way that’s any less than 110%! The upside of so much enthusiasm is that they’ve surrounded themselves with a young, innovative, committed, dynamic and effective team. This is a business which lets its imagination soar, but keeps its feet firmly on the ground. They’re looking for franchisees, probably with a sports, coaching or personal development background who want a full time yet flexible, proven business; love the Wildchild way of thinking; hate the idea of sitting in an office and ‘managing’; relish the idea of being out and about; and like the sound of changing their whole rhythm of life.