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 starting with LAPS, 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.
Premier 15s rugby player, and high-performing barista.
Partnership Manager Abi Evans is an international rugby player who has represented Scotland at 15s and 7s for eight years. She plays her club rugby for Saracens, in north London. Outside of rugby (and her career at LAPS), Abi is a keen amateur photographer, attempts to keep up with her whippet Lolly, is a CrossFitter, and considers herself an above average barista.
Footballer, coffee lover, sports fanatic, home cook.
Professional footballer that has scored at every level below the premier league. Became Brighton’s youngest ever goal scorer at 16 years old. Also turned out for Shrewsbury, Northampton, Luton and Torquay. Now playing for Worthing FC alongside his job in Marketing at LAPS. Jake will be monitoring our social media accounts so make sure to say hello.
Loves cooking for the family and eating out, but happiest on the sofa on a Sunday with a full day of sport to watch, including his beloved Arsenal and the New Orleans Saints in the NFL. Also plans to take golf lessons this year!
International cricketer, 2x World cup winner, MBE, Portsmouth fan and dog lover.
After an international cricket career spanning 14 years, Anya has joined the LAPS team as our sports partnerships manager to work closely with National Governing Bodies and Players Unions. Taking 227 wickets in 173 matches for her country, Anya was awarded an MBE following England’s World Cup final victory in 2017, a match in which she took 6/46 including the match winning wicket. She was also nominated for BBC Sports Personality of The Year in the same year.
Alongside her role at LAPS, Anya continues in a coaching and playing role within domestic cricket. She is a huge Portsmouth FC fan and loves walking her dogs Billy and Niko (named after former Pompey star Niko Kranjcar).
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.
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.
Badminton World Champion, Olympian and Speaker
Gail represented GB from 1995 until her retirement from professional sport in 2008. In that time she won Commonwealth, World and European Championships, and brought home a silver medal from the Athens Olympics. In 2009 she was honoured with an MBE.
Since retiring from badminton Gail has become one a very popular motivational speaker, host and compere as well as regularly appearing in the media as a pundit and commentator.
Gail works with LAPS to ensure our events are even better!
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. 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.