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Sports education company working in the US, China and India as it takes its programmes overseas

David Batch CEO of Premier Education
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

David Batch CEO of Premier Education Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

Working with sport governing bodies to increase participation as well as continuing its growth in the US and India will be key to an education and fitness group’s expansion in 2018.

Premier Education Group, which has its headquarters in Sparham, near Attleborough, has seen revenues grow by 30% across its network over the last 12 months and in that time has worked with more than 10 million children worldwide. Founder and chief executive David Batch said due to a track record of improving fitness in schools, the firm has been able to develop partnerships with bodies such as British Fencing. He said: “We have had three come to us and say ‘can you improve our participation rates?’

We increased participation in fencing quite dramatically and we have five or six other bodies which we are hoping to work with soon.”

Mr Batch said the key to the success of Premier’s programmes was focusing on children’s enjoyment and not the specific needs of the sport – which he warned could burn youngsters out before they hit their prime.

Through its programmes and products Premier has been able to show improvement in respiratory fitness in children within weeks, which Mr Batch said has led to the group working with Public Health England as well as taking the brand to the US, China and India.

With continued growth at home and abroad the firm is expecting to see a similar pattern in 2018.

Mr Batch is a former football player and coach, having managed AFC Sudbury, Wroxham and St Neots Town, and has used his experience to develop the programmes which are then rolled out by franchisees. As well as working in schools Premier runs camps during holidays.

Mr Batch said: “It has been scientifically proven that children lost 80% of the gain made during term time if they do not do exercise in the six-week holiday.

“I was asked to talk to (health secretary) Jeremy Hunt about this and they have now changed how schools can spend their sport premium so it can be used outside of term time.”

The network as a whole now has a turnover of more than £20m with a core staff of 30 at its Norfolk head office but with more than 1,200 working under its umbrella across the world.

As well as organic growth through new franchises, Premier bought consultancy B11 Education in February.

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