Restart Scheme helps ex-rugby pro kickstart a new career
3 Aug 2022
After twenty years running businesses and helping others start their own, Nash thought his entrepreneurial skills would help him weather the Covid storm. But he was wrong, and the ex-rugby pro went two years without finding work.
“Everything I tried to get off the ground failed,” he says.
It led to some soul-searching and eventually to the Restart Scheme, launched by the Government initially to combat soaring unemployment levels caused by the pandemic.
That’s where he found expert support from Ingeus advisers who helped him to discover a new route into employment. And not just for himself, but for some of his fellow Restart Scheme participants too.
He recalls: “It was a tough period, but my guiding principles were, ‘Follow your passion, do what you love, make your vision a reality’.” So that’s what he did.
He determined to marry the skills he had built up as a businessman and former rugby player to launch Accelerate Sports, offering coaching to young people outside of school hours.
“I was lucky enough to have the backing of Ingeus through the Restart Scheme,” he says.
“They supported my journey at every stage with advice, information, courses, and expenses.
“At the beginning of the year I started with nothing. I had to figure out how to create a business in a new sector without any obvious track record! So, I picked up the phone and set about selling my idea to school after school.
“Six months later I am running five after-school tag rugby clubs Monday to Friday, a weekly Saturday sports club, holiday camps and have just been appointed to the coaching team of Jamaica Rugby.”
In the last half-term holiday he ran a multi sports camp in conjunction with the London Borough of Barnet and when he needed staff to help him he knew one place to call where they WOULD listen – the Ingeus team in the borough.
“They provided five ideal candidates from the Restart Scheme to become part of my fledgling business,” says Nash.
He’s going to need all that help during the school summer holidays when he is due to be running a five-week multi-sports camp in North Finchley, hosting more than 100 children a day, largely supported by staff recommended through Ingeus.
He adds: “The business is now growing and I am starting to place coaches at schools and expand into new geographic areas. There is nothing more exciting than starting a new business, but more than that is the opportunity to see young people grow in confidence and to give my coaching staff opportunities that haven't been available to them for some time.”