Wobble and Kick started as a way for me (Coach Bianca) to be able to stay at home with my children while doing what I love — sharing the joy of football. As I grew it, it remained a company that was focused on the customers, with class numbers smaller that most, if not all of the toddler activities I know of, in order to keep it personal and to teach effectively. Despite having smaller classes, I never raised the price above market rate, actually never even reached market rate, because it was never about the money, it was about effectively teaching children football and building their confidence by encouraging and caring for them and knowing each and every child’s name and personality by heart!
Sadly, one day in March I had the difficult decision of having to shut it down. I heard of a deadly disease looming and I just couldn’t put my customers at risk. I closed it down and for over two months after that, I worked tirelessly to create an online football team, with videos, live sessions, private messages of encouragement and more. It was lovely. It was so enjoyable. It was working. But no one was willing to pay for football from home. Perhaps it’s the idea of balls bouncing around indoors? Perhaps it is because some homes in London are too small to accommodate it? I was crushed, heartbroken, when it didn’t work out, because I knew that the uncertainty of the future would mean that possibly I’d never get to coach the kiddies I had come to know and adore!
At the time of closing I had employed two coaches. I paid them until the end of the term but being a small business that was never about profits, I couldn’t keep employing them indefinitely. So they found other sources of income, one has found particular success in the starting a cleaning business, and although I am super proud of what he has achieved, and recommend his services to everyone, it means he won’t be coaching with us again.
On top of that, the uncertainty around Covid-19 and the impact of it on my income meant that my family ended up moving to Bristol, where it is cheaper, greener and we have family support. I know I am going into a lot of detail but I have always enjoyed building friendships with my customers and they know a lot about me already.
All this to say that I will no longer be able to run Wobble and Kick in London. As I type this I really feel sadness as I have enjoyed it so much and all the faces of the children I have gotten to know just pop up in my mind right now. I really will miss you all and hope that you go on to enjoy football for many years to come.
I am starting a few sessions in Bath and Bristol but I am nervous as there is still so much uncertainty about what will happen. Running an in-person business at a time like this is highly insecure and unsettling. I am doing it, again, not for the money, but because I LOVE building community, I LOVE teaching and I love football. Who knows what the future will bring. It is certain that this business model is no longer a viable one, or at least it is not a secure one. But truly, we have all learned during this time, that nothing in life is guaranteed, and we aren’t in control of everything.
So as I venture forward, keep Wobble and Kick small, start it literally from scratch as I did in 2017, I won’t think too much about how it might survive. Instead, I will enjoy it. I will just enjoy seeing faces, seeing growth, seeing smiles, while I can. We all know how precious these things have become!
If you are in Bath and Bristol, I would love to invite you to one of our sessions.
Coach Bianca xx