Currently based in Glasgow, Chris Hanlon’s mission is to make facilities open to children and their families, providing affordable places to play. Pitch Up Play does this through running sessions that are fully inclusive, comfortable, and nurturing at a low-cost.
Chris first realised the need for Pitch Up Play when he identified that renting sporting facilities was extremely expensive; preventing people from accessing the spaces.
The inspiration for launching “Pitch Up Play” was simple – to give children access to good facilities at an affordable cost. I had watched with concern over several years as prices for sport and health facilities rose and access opportunities fell. I have a young family and am keenly aware of how these issues can affect every family. With this in mind we ask every child to pay a small price for our facilities no matter if there are 2 or 20 children wishing to play.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring social entrepreneurs?
1. Know What you want, even if you don’t know how to get it. “Every idea can be frightening and overwhelming until you have support. The support from Firstport makes everything seem that bit simpler. Their support is available to help you fill in the ‘hows’ if you know the ‘wheres’.
2. Don’t underestimate the importance of friends and family. Their skills, knowledge, and support can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask. You might just get what you need.
3. The challenges facing any small business start-up are magnified with a social enterprise. The biggest challenge I have faced would have to be the time factor. Juggling a full time job with family life can be difficult enough but adding in the setup of a new enterprise has been a challenge. Having said that, I have loved every second.
Future hopes and ambitions for Pitch UP Play?
My hopes for the future are simple – that no child has limits on their access to sport and health facilities due to price or availability. I would love to think that we can inspire people into exercise and health and fitness. Short term, I want Pitch Up Play to become an important part of the community in its initial setting in Springburn. From here we can build on a solid foundation. I want to build bigger and give more for the same cost and anything that be done to help us is ALWAYS welcome.