Unique sports science firm wins rugby contracts following £1.5million investment


As the Six Nations Rugby Championship gets well underway, a new sports science consultancy firm set up last year as part of a £1.5 million investment supported by Invest Northern Ireland, has secured contracts with the English and Irish rugby teams.

STATSports, based in Newry, Co. Down is the first company in the UK and Ireland to offer services which monitor the fitness and performance of athletes from an elite to grass roots level.  Services provided include fitness testing, agility and reaction training and also flexibility and strength monitoring.

Invest NI has offered £65,000 of funding to help STATSports develop a number of satellite networks across Ireland and the UK, where trained personnel can take equipment onsite to assess athletes and clubs in their own environment.

STATSports’ wider development plans include employing 10 new full time staff, implementing an effective marketing strategy to establish market presence and the introduction of a fully equipped laboratory, to provide advice on lifestyle and nutrition in conjunction with primary fitness programmes.

Bill Scott, Director of Regional Economic Development at Invest NI, commented: “The promoters of this new venture, Alan Clarke, Joe Kernan and Sean O’Connor, are highly experienced in the sporting world. By utilising their skills, identifying where gaps in the market existed and establishing a company to take advantage of this, they have opened up a niche market. This is a positive development for a new company which has already succeeded in securing prestigious export contracts at an early stage in its development.”

Alan Clarke, Director of STATSports Ltd commented: “The contracts with the English and Irish rugby teams have been a real boost to us. In the short time we have been in operation, our consultancy service has proven hugely beneficial to players, managers, coaches and physiotherapists alike.

“Invest NI support is already helping us to develop our export capability and build a greater presence in target markets. Combined with our high tech systems, which includes technology that records extensive data on an athlete’s speed, distance, heart rate and acceleration, and an ability to provide real time feedback, we are confident of that our growth plans can be realised. ”