About Us

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, currently, Exeter City) 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. Bring in Nathan, our technical guru, and suddenly you have three people very excited about founding a new venture. And so 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.

Our Core Team

Robbie Simpson
Membership Director

Professional Footballer, avid dog-walker, spicy food fan and fair weather golfer.

Robbie is a professional footballer, currently playing for Exeter City. 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.

Nathan Hastings
CTO

Experienced technology professional, thai boxer, and fan of Formula 1.

Nathan Hastings is an experienced IT consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for technology. He brings more than 10 years of experience in software development to the team, and has worked with established brands and startups to deliver high quality digital solutions, including responsive websites, robust ecommerce systems, and progressive web apps. In addition to being the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of LAPS, Nathan is the Founder and Director of Phase 4 Web, a Cambridge-based digital agency.

Rob Steed
CEO

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.

Leon Mckenzie
Head of Partnerships

Former Professional Footballer, boxer, coach and filmmaker.

Former pro footballer and boxer Leon McKenzie joined the LAPS team in 2018 as our Head of Partnerships. He 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.

Gail Emms MBE
Head of Marketing

Former World, European and All-England Badminton Champion and Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms is the newest member of the LAPS team, joining us as Head of Marketing in August 2018. Following a lifelong love of sport, Gail works extensively to promote the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle among young people and is committed to helping sports professionals transition into new and careers and tackle head on the challenges so many will face in the process. Outside her ambassadorial work for the Youth Sports Trust and Badminton Sport England, she also works in sports media as a commentator, is an experienced speaker, and writes a health and wellbeing blog. In the little spare time she has left, she loves walking her beloved Westie, Rafa, and going to watch Tottenham Hotspur and MK Lightning