Have you ever heard of serendipity? Those chance encounters or events which bring about a cool outcome? Well then. This will all make sense.
Meet Robbie. Robbie is a professional footballer. Having played with several clubs (Huddersfield, Leyton Orient, Coventry, Cambridge United and, MK Dons) Robbie has met a lot of sportspeople in his time, and from talking to them (he’s a sociable chap) he became very aware of two things. Firstly, a sports career can’t last forever. Through age, injury or just bad luck, most sportspeople’s careers won’t last all that long. Secondly, although there are thousands of sportspeople out there with all these wonderful, employable qualities, there are no (honestly, we’ve checked) NO recruitment platforms out there dedicated solely to helping them find meaningful, fulfilling careers after sport.
Meet Rob. Rob is a recruitment consultant (though he’s never been quite happy with that label, as he does a bit more than that.) Rob works closely with client businesses to help them recruit exactly the right people for them. And he noticed that more and more often, clients were asking him about recruiting ex-sports professionals. He also noticed that those sports professionals usually outperformed their colleagues and went on to have really quite impressive careers. This seemed to be a pattern. Now, hold that thought.
You see where we’re going with this. So Rob and Robbie got chatting, and suddenly LAPS was born.
Everyone at LAPS believes fully in the impressive qualities sportspeople have to offer in a huge range of careers after sport. We know what employers want, and we know that sportspeople are often uniquely suited to excel in business. Our job now is to connect the dots, and provide as much advice, support and technical wizardry along the way as possible.
So there you have it. That’s our story. And we’re sticking to it.
Professional Footballer, avid dog-walker, spicy food fan and fair weather golfer.
Robbie is a professional footballer. He’s played in all four divisions below the Premier League and graced stadiums such as Old Trafford, Wembley and Anfield. Away from playing, Robbie is co-founder of a players’ agency and an active alumni of Loughborough University’s Sports Science & Maths degree. He is a big fan of cooking and eating out, the spicier the better. On a sunny day he loves a game of golf or walking the dog, enjoys spending time with his nieces and nephews, and is a (self-professed) part-time film critic.
Recruitment Expert, music lover, sports fan and grower (and chef) of vegetables.
Rob is an experienced company Director, having held both Executive and non-Executive roles, and has been recruiting for over 20 years. He has worked with companies including William Jackson Food Group (Abel & Cole), Raspberry Pi, Focusrite and The Gap Partnership, as well as founding and running his own successful recruitment and consultancy business. When he’s not doing that he can usually be found listening to live music, watching or playing sport, fulfilling an ongoing challenge to watch one new sport every year, spending time with his family or, most often, a bewildering combination of all of the above.
Former rower, award-winning author and terrible cook
Annie spent ten years going backwards in boats for the Great Britain Rowing Team, in that time going to six World Championships and two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). She finished her career as a two-time World Champion, world silver medallist, and Olympic silver medallist.
Between finishing rowing and having children Annie squeezed in the writing of Mind Games: Determination, Doubt and Lucky Socks. An insider’s guide to the psychology of elite athletes (Bloomsbury, 2019) which she is very aware is an overlong title. The book won the Outstanding Sportswriting Award at the 2020 Telegraph British Sports Book Awards. This was one of Annie’s proudest achievements to date.
Professional Footballer, cat lover, boxing aficionado and coffee connoisseur
Adam knows the north of England football scene intimately; growing up in Wallsend, he represented England up to u20 level and played his academy football at Newcastle United before spells at Carlisle, Hartlepool and Darlington. Now he leads the line at Gateshead alongside his work at LAPS.
When he’s got the energy, you can find Adam refining his golf game. When he’s not got the energy he’s probably developing his future career as a reality TV critic, or indulging his love of the cinema which he tries to hit up at least once a week.
Former Rugby Player turned referee & military dog re-homer
Holly represented England in rugby league before realising union was the only way forward, playing in the English Premiership for Richmond and Harlequins before spending her final season playing for Stade Toulousain Feminin in France.
Holly has always worked in the sporting sector, from community grassroots sports to elite level. In her spare time, she enjoys dog walks with her retired military working dogs who are much cooler than her, along with cricket, cycling and surfing.
Professional Footballer, keen golfer and Asian food aficionado
James is a professional footballer spending the majority of his career in Scotland and is currently playing for Arbroath FC. He’s also found the time to get a Sports Recreation Management degree from the University of Edinburgh and represent the Great Britain football team at the World Student Games in Shenzen, winning a silver medal.
Aside from playing football, James is a keen golfer, a youth football coach and general sport enthusiast and likes to take in live sporting events around the globe, at least when he’s not hammering Game of Thrones and munching Asian cuisine.
Business and recruitment expert, sports fan, ex-cricketer and owner of the world’s laziest golden retriever
Terry’s wealth of experience with business partnerships and recruitment, coupled with a love of sport, made him an ideal recruit for LAPS in January 2018. He’s really invested in the LAPS missions of helping sports professionals to find new and rewarding careers after sport.
Since joining LAPS, Terry’s been a big part of fostering ongoing partnerships for LAPS and had a big hand in organising our flagship events. When he’s not working (which isn’t often, as he’s extremely dedicated!) he loves live music, mostly of an indie persuasion, watching his beloved Leeds Utd and attempting to make his incredibly lazy, rain-hating golden retriever go for walks.
Events guru and former passionate trampoline gymnast
Miriam joined us in December 2021 to manage our events programme for 2022. A former trampoline gymnast and gymnastics coach for British Gymnastics, Miriam had 15 years in the sport when she developed an understanding for the artistry and strength required to be successful. She studied anthropology at university while training.
Miriam recently helped set up Cambridge Community Kitchen (CCK) which provides free hot plant based meals to anyone in Cambridge who needs them, all run off the backs of volunteers and the power of well organised spreadsheets. She is a talented musician in her spare time and loves to sing and play the ukulele and guitar. She considers herself the social secretary for family and friends, planning trips, events and fundraisers for various causes, locally and abroad.
International footballer, charity founder and mentor
Mustapha ‘Muzzy’ Dumbuya has played for clubs all over the UK including Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth FC, Notts County and Partick Thistle; and then went to the States where he signed for Phoenix Rising and Tampa Bay Rowdies. In his time in the US, Muzzy won the Western Conference title with Phoenix and the Eastern Conference title with Tampa Bay. At Notts County, he was the Fans’ Player Of The Year.
Muzzy is the founder of MD24FOUNDATION which is a non profit organisation facilitating the well-being of children in Sierra Leone, his country of birth. We’re thrilled that Muzzy will be part of the LAPS team running our football academy workshops.
Pro footballer and boxer, mental health advocate, PT, Presenter and part-time singer!
Former pro footballer and boxer Leon McKenzie is passionate about tackling the stigma around mental health, and works as an ambassador for mental health charity CALM, as well as being a part-time boxing coach.
He campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health issues, making regular appearances at academies across the country to share his experiences.
In what little spare time he has, he enjoys a game of golf, and loves music – especially singing, spending as much time as possible in the studio.
Former South African captain and Emerging Podcaster
A graduate of the academy at Chelsea FC, Dean successfully progressed to have a prolonged professional career spanning 16 years and making over 500 appearances, including representing the South Africa national team on 58 occasions. Clubs played for include Glasgow Rangers, Oldham Athletic, Doncaster Rovers and Supersport United in South Africa.
Dean is currently transitioning from a career as a professional footballer into his new career as a financial advisor with LAPS partner Gameplan Financial. Aside from being an advisor, Dean has set up The Mainly Football Podcast, where he and co-host Joe Crann chat in depth to current and former stars of African football. Dean also has a passion for travel and has a travel business called Limitless Africa – offering unsurpassed access to the most luxurious African getaways and experiences.