• Some of our favourite athletes keeping the Olympic legacy alive!

    Posted in expert insights on May 11, 2015

    Last week part of our community descended upon the Olympic Park for some masterclass antics led by three-time Olympian Yamile Aldama and GB triple-jumper Julien Allwood.

    masterclass chat

    upmysport organised the masterclasses, in partnership with Nuclear Races and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to get competitors in ship-shape for an upcoming obstacle course event- The Nuclear Rush. It was pretty cool to have some some top athletes on board to lead our session, and there’s something about getting your sweat on at the Olympic Park that just feels right, you know?


    And for Steve, one of upmysport’s co-founders, the masterclass was an exciting way to kick-start our new partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust: ‘we were really excited to bring something a bit special to Londoners looking for a great workout. The Trust is literally teeming with inspirational, world-class instructors and mentors, and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to meet them.’

    hills print

    The warm-up was tasty.. We were pushed through some circuit training and all-body movements to get the heart-rate up at the start of the session.

    mastercalss warm up

    There was some intense focus out there. With the event looming large, people were making sure they got the most out of this chance to train. Julien gave us his training philosophy: ‘elite performance is a combination of pushing through barriers, working closely with others and discipline. The Masterclass gave individuals an opportunity to understand this cocktail for success!’


    Then, if there’s one thing world-class triple jumpers know how to do, it’s stretch.

    masterclass stretch

    Speaking to some of the guys there, it sounds like the everyone worked hard but had a giggle or two along the way.

    Instructors know that word-of-mouth and reputation are key to growing a successful business. That’s why we’ve brought the benefits of these marketing tools online; George, Alex and Anthony all left reviews on Julien’s upmysport profile.


    It was also a good chance for us to get some feedback on our app. For Julien, the instructor app meant that he was able to accept people onto the masterclass, take payment and chat to his clients on-the-go. Julien is a busy dude; training himself, looking after his clients and growing his business all take time.

    We’re pretty stoked with his feedback: ‘before I was trying to arrange this stuff via whats app, the next minute I get a txt, then I have to chase a voicemail. It was all just a bit much. The upmysport app means that I never miss an opportunity, and the stress is taken out of organising a big group session.’ 

    app demos

    We’re always improving our tools, and based on the feedback we’re getting from some of our top coaches we know we’ve made a lot of progress towards making it as easy, and as simple as possible to manage an instruction business.

    But there’s a lot of sport to be played this summer; lots of new instructors to meet and lots of ideas to be shared. So if you’re an instructor that wants to join our community and help us build upmysport, or a participant that wants to be kept in the loop next time we organise some masterclasses- drop us a line! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.


  • Sophie, Chamonix and Trail Running

    Posted in running on January 21, 2015

    Trail Running is in. It’s gaining popularity left right and centre and shows no sign of slowing down. We caught up with Sophie Radcliffe, trail running enthusiast and adventurer-extrordanaire to find out why she loves trail running in her home town, Chamonix.

    sophie radclifee

    ‘After an intense summer completing the Alpine Coast to Coast expedition, which involved cycling the Alps and climbing their highest mountains, I was looking for something that would enable me to stretch my legs and keep my fitness up, but something that would fuel my soul and energy without demanding too much from me. I found this in trail running.


    I love how running in the mountains makes me feel; strong, and free. It opens up my mind and relieves the pressures I have when I’m at my desk. It challenges every part of me to push harder, to run faster and ignore the desire to stop and catch my breath. Some days I feel as though a weight is pushing me back down when I’m trying to go up. Some days I feel like I can run up these mountains almost effortlessly. The effort is hard but the rewards are plenty.


    The views, the colours and the beautiful mountains take my breath away as I run and look at what is going on around me. I normally run at sunrise or sunset to amplify the beauty of my surroundings. 6 months ago I lived in London and ran on the streets there, this world is so different and I feel so lucky to live here and call this place home. Running has never come easy to me and I’ve always found it a struggle until now. It doesn’t feel like training, it feels like my favourite thing to do.


    Come and run here and you’ll see what I mean. It gives me energy, it feeds my life and it makes me smile. Getting ridiculously fit is great too!’

    As 2014 drew to a close the upmysport team convened in Chamonix to chat about their year, discuss plans for 2015 and meet with some friends by a warm fire. Seeing as Sophie had got us all jazzed about trail running, Michael and George decided embark on a little adventure themselves.

    chamonix running

    You can run or hike your way through Chamonix and the surrounding areas on well-kept trails which comb the hillsides between Servoz and Vallorcine. The majority of the trails close as the snow sweeps in, but they were lucky enough to get a few days of excellent trail-running in during our trip.

    chamonix view 1

    The first excursion took them through the city centre and out onto the trails where they crossed the bridge and followed the river up into the mountains.

    They climbed for another half an hour or so, climbing around rocks and navigating over the many streams that dot the hillside. The hard work paid off and the guys were presented with a beautiful view of Chamonix as they turned the corner.

    We can see what all the fuss is about.


    If you want to follow Sophie as she takes on more exciting challenges, make sure to catch her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and check out her awesome blog.

    And if you fancy having a crack at trail running, the season has just finished in the mountains but you can get yourself ready to take on those hills with any of the brilliant running instructors we have in our community.




  • Ben, Anniversaries and Puppies

    Posted in tech on January 6, 2015

    Ben, our VP of Business Development and puppy-provider, has jumped on the blog for us to give a little introduction to himself and the sporting landscape as he has experienced it. He talks about how the relationship between sport and technology has changed over the years in his eyes, and has a brief look at what the future could hold…

    big ben

    In June 2014 I reached my tenth year in work. I am in shock, the time has gone by so quickly! Maybe it is because luckily I have been involved in 5 fantastic organisations in one exciting sector.

    Old school 2004 – 2011

    My first four roles were at sports governing bodies, fantastically rewarding roles, working in organisations that provide the framework for sport to happen; education, competition, membership, participation growth, rules and regulations, support to the club community, the list goes on and is difficult to prioritise!

    Swimmers in Triathlon

    The challenge throughout this period was growing sport, and importantly evidencing it. With fragmented routes for sport to be delivered and marketed, it is a difficult task – particularly when the sports participant has so many different things to consume! I remember thinking at the time that there must be better ways of doing things. My gut told me that it was through technology but for some reason the sector seemed under supplied with great technology.

    New school 2011 – 2014

    The second part of the decade led me to technology, working with companies that help empower sports event organisers and more recently sports coaches to run their business more successfully via technology. The crossover between the ‘old school’ and the ‘new school’ has been fascinating.

    From my National Governing Body days I remember the issues that sports coaches had managing the day to day running of their ‘business'; they are incredibly passionate and knowledgable about their sport, but bored and frustrated by the admin, chasing money, paperwork and organising people (rightly!)

    Another KI Invoice

    Even back in 2004, it was obvious technology was going to be increasingly more important to sport. Obvious right? It’s very easy to forget facebook was founded February 2004.

    Growth is challenging when you don’t have an online presence, reputation and a simple way of taking bookings, enquiries and payments from potential participants. It’s difficult and confusing for everyone – whether you are a single coach or a collection of coaches.

    Male personal trainer with male client lifting weights

    There are so many examples of new technology companies supporting, empowering and growing completely new industries. Communities of people sharing their expertise, knowledge and assets to create new incomes or expand existing. I get pretty excited about the potential in companies like AirBnB, BorrowMyDoggy, Tinder (I am not single, but a bit of vicarious tindering is great fun) but a company that helps sports coaches, brilliant! 

    The best thing is that by empowering a community of sports coaches, giving them the tools to grow themselves, you maximise their chance of success. Helping them to stay in sport and giving more people the opportunity to meet their perfect instructor.

    app phone

    Future School 2015 + ?

    The fascinating thing about working in a tech company like upmysport is that whilst we have a core goal, we iterate quickly to make sure that we are able to provide valuable tools to our instructors and coaches. Being nimble, evidence based and reactive to peoples needs are hard baked in to the way we do things. Technology allows you that! Our core mission will not change, but how we deliver it is always subtly improving and developing.


    The best thing is I know we will categorically show that our work has made a difference to the sporting landscape. I know that over the next ten years we will have had a progressively bigger effect on sporting participation and I can’t wait!

    Oh and the icing on the cake, in the new and future school, you are allowed to have an office dog!

    Pepe catching some Zs

     Be sure to keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook as we get stuck into 2015!

  • Dan, our app-man, talks climbing and coding

    Posted in upmysport on November 24, 2014

    We thought we’d introduce the world to a member of the upmysport team- Dan Hough, who’s been tinkering away on the upmysport app for the past year or so.  We chat tech, climbing, and what the future could have in store for coding..

    dan hough

     MC: So Dan, how did you get into coding/app design?

    DH: I started when I was about 12, when a very liberal teacher decided to go off the curriculum and teach us html for a day. One thing led to another to another to another, and when I did computer science at Sheffield Uni I learned some of the more advanced parts of programming-  it became a career from there.

    We know from your Strava updates that you go on the odd run, but how seriously do you take jogging? Do you do any other sports?

    Uhhh, I take joggoling, jogging, well, actually, I like to call it running, thank you very much. I try to go pretty fast, I think I take it seriously enough to try to get to 20 minutes for 5 km, and I’m not quite there yet, but I tend to go 3 times a week on a 5-10k run.

    I’m one the few people you meet who takes their stretching quite seriously, and general strength work to do with running. So maybe quite seriously? In terms of other sports, I love climbing, bouldering in particular- the kind where you haven’t got ropes.

    I do that three times a week at The Arch climbing wall in Bermondsey and I recently went to France to do a bit of bouldering, which was awesome.


    Is it me, or do loads of people in the tech scene seem to be into climbing?

    It’s not you. That’s very true. If you go to the bouldering walls and speak to a random person, there’s a 50-50 change that they’re in a tech company. And I think its because a lot of geeks like to approach bouldering from a problem-solving perspective. Climbing is all about problem solving and so is bouldering, so there’s a tonne of cross over.

    And, nerdy folk like me often aren’t great at team sports, but they love socializing, so, it’s a good way to do a sport, meet people and discuss a challenge!

     You volunteer at Code Club, how’s that been?

    Really rewarding, I know that that’s an obvious thing to say but it really has. It’s taught me a lot about how children learn, and interact with each other. I haven’t spent much time with kids since I was one and, its amazing how quickly they grasp the basics of it. It can be quite stressful- they’re a handful, but I really enjoy it.

    Do you think coding will be become part of mainstream education and be taught alongside Geography and Politics etc.?

    I think it’ll be part of main steam education but won’t be taught quite as ubiquitously as Geography and Politics. It’ll probably be somewhere between, like, German and Maths. Well, no, I guess German is quite popular.

    Ok, a lot of people think that it’s gonna be as ubiquitous as maths, but I can’t see it getting that popular. I think it’s going to be one of these things that gets taught a bit in primary school, and if kids enjoy it, they’ll continue it at secondary school, but if they don’t, they won’t.

    I think you can kinda tell when you’re about ten whether you’re interested in programming or not. And I can’t see it being a sudden switch, but its definitely on the up, and needs to be.

    The Arch in Bermondsey

    The Arch in Bermondsey

     Do you think you can gain something from learning the basics of coding, even if you don’t want to be a developer?

    I think so. I teach programming at a company called General Assembly, and the thing that I always tell my students is that even if they’re not in it to have a career in programming learning about it can help change the way they think about basically everything.

    If you start approaching the world from a programmers perspective, you can see everything in a much more logical manner. And you can see the way that systems work in a much more intricate way. I don’t just mean computer systems- any kind of system at all- so like, the kind of systems that operate public transportation or those that help a company function. Knowing a bit of programming can really help you understand how complex systems interact.

    How do people get into it if they’re curious?

    A good first step is to check out websites like Code Academy and Treehouse and if you want to get serious about it then maybe check out a course at somewhere like General Assembly.

    Lastly, if you could moonlight as a pro in one sport, what would it be?

    *Long pause*  A pro in any sport? Skydiving.  Does that count as a sport?

    I don’t know, can you do that, competitively?

    I don’t know. Do you mean like professional competitive kinda person?


     Ah, well its gotta be snowboarding- that’s such a cool sport to be professional at.

    * Nicola interjects *

    NB: You can be a professional skydiver- one of the champions lives in our village. Do you mean professional as in you earn a living from it?

    Well, I meant, competitively. 

    NB: Yeah that’s definitely a thing too.


    DH: In that case I stick with my original answer!

    Check out Dan’s blog and Twitter to keep up with all the exciting stuff he’s up to. And if you fancy having a go at climbing, we’ve got some great climbing instructors who can show you the ropes!



  • upmysport go off-road

    Posted in startups on October 20, 2014

    So the upmysort team had a pretty sweet friday.

    We started the day in style with some Bacon and Egg Naans from Dishoom, arguably the best breakfast in town, before strolling over to the Olympic Park.

    But before we got there had second and third breakfast at the awesome E5 Bakehouse.  You’ve gotta refuel if you’re to perform at your best..

    Mobot/ Lightening Bolt/ ambiguous

    Lightning Bolt/ Mobot/ ambiguous

    Having Carbo/Caffeine/Chocolate Brownie-loaded we checked out the Olympic Park. Beautiful sunshine, and for those of us who had been at the Olympics two years before, great memories. We headed over to the Velodrome where it’s pretty safe to say team GB smashed it in 2012.


    It was time for action. At the Lee Valley Velo Park there are all sorts of cycling antics you can get involved in. You can ride on the track, road, BMX park, velodrome or go  mountain biking. Whilst deliberating which to go for we suddenly realised that Neil was nowhere to be seen..


    Mountain Biking. No- brainer.

    With different trails of varying difficulty- blue, red and black, there really is something for everyone. We explored the trails for a couple of hours, Michael tried to do a black trail and fell off and broke his bike, and London delivered a bit of sunshine. All good.

    As the afternoon drew to a close we stopped off at the local Crate Brewery.


    Delicious pizzas, beers and a great spot right on the river. It was a lovely opportunity to welcome Antonia to the team and enjoy all being in the same city. We meandered back to our Old Street home feeling good.

    There’s something hugely rewarding about trying something new– especially when you’ve got someone who knows the ropes and can make sure you enjoy the experience as much as possible.

    Follow us on twitter, Like us on Facebook, and say hello if you’ve got a sport or activity you think we should try..


  • ‘Three lessons from my first year as a rookie triathlete’

    Posted in triathlon on July 30, 2014

    Following on from England’s amazing triathlon success at this year’s Commonwealth Games (men’s gold, women’s gold and relay gold!) we caught up with Lucy Fry, an extremely sporty journalist who has kindly shared three lessons from her first year of triathlon.

    DSC_1453a Luce with bicycle

    Lucy at the Hyde Park Tri

    I’ve spent nearly a year trying to immerse myself in the fierce and fabulous world of Triathlon. During that time, I’ve done five Triathlons – three so-called sprint events (though they take me around 90 minutes, so the word ‘sprint’ doesn’t really cover it), and two longer, Olympic distance ones. I started out as a fairly fit 31-year-old, and I’m now a fully-fledged 32-year-old triathlete. It doesn’t take much after all, and triathletes are a notoriously welcoming bunch; you don’t need to run to glory like Jodie Stimpson to be called a triathlete (though that was pretty awesome, huh?); you just need to do one event and smile and you’ll be welcomed into the fold.

    Here are three things I learnt as a rookie triathlete in their first season.

    1) Open water acclimatisation – yes, this really does matter. Every time I’ve seen a swimmer on the start line of a triathlon who hasn’t yet dipped their feet into open water, I’ve discovered later that they struggled a lot, during the swim. That’s because open water, wonderful though it is, is a completely different experience to pool swimming and requires just a little bit of practice. Don’t assume you can get by on lengths alone; you’ll need to practice sighting drills (lakes don’t have lanes to keep you on track), wetsuits (ouch! An ill-fitting one will slow you down, a lot, during a race) and long, uninterrupted sections of swimming. So get yourself an instructor – I used Swim Lab’s Salim Ahmed – and do an open water session or two. It could make the difference between an awful first race experience and a fantastic one.

    2) Cycle more than I did. In my wisdom, I felt that a regular 60-90 minute cycle session on a stationery cycle bike would be enough to sustain me in the cycle part of a triathlon. That and the odd 100km long ride, I’ll admit, but those were few and far between. When it came to the triathlons, I couldn’t understand why I was constantly being overtaken by women who neither looked a whole lot stronger than me nor had better kit for me to blame their prowess on. Riding to and from work on a daily basis will make a difference to your cycle time in a Tri – it’s hours in the saddle, along with those hard interval sessions, that’ll make you a better rider. I was lazy about biking and I regretted it in the end!

    3) Practice your transitions. If I had a pound for every time my friend, the exceptionally-experienced triathlon coach, Rob Popper, told me to practice my transitions, I’d be able to afford a better wetsuit. It is boring and might seem pointless, but practising the process of taking your wetsuit off under time pressure and when you’re wet, and slipping into cycle shoes, helmet on, ready for the ride… Those things actually make a difference come race day. Time taken off your Transitions is also virtually ‘free’ in energy terms – much easier to gain a minute back by making friends with your wetsuit than it is to make it up on the final run.


    The Hever Castle Evening Series- water acclimatisation is key!

    Lucy Fry is a freelance writer and author (www.lucyfry.co.uk). Her narrative non-fiction book on women in triathlon is to be published by Faber & Faber next year. If you fancy a lesson with Swim Lab’s Salim Ahmed then check out his listings here.

  • New Digs and New People

    Posted in upmysport on July 4, 2014

    We thought we’d bring you the low down on what’s been happening at upmysport HQ.

    We have a new office, new team members and an ever-growing community of brilliant instructors. Our London office is now based at TechHub; an exciting environment in which several young companies are coming up with cool solutions to a wide range of problems .


    Our new office overlooks London’s Silicon Roundabout. The area is now home to over 5000 tech companies. The sun has been shining and we’ve been settling in nicely.


    It places us squarely in the middle of the London’s buzzing start-up scene whilst also providing us with a little bit of peace (the table tennis room has hosted many a meeting.)


    George works on his backhand

    We share the space with several other start ups. Companies doing all sorts of things- ranging from food to real estate, from lifestyle to education.


    And our team is expanding. Despite a broken elbow one of our new interns, Hetty, is taking names with her paddle..


    Hetty dominating the table

    And our other new intern, Michael, is desperately trying to live up to his self-proclaimed title ‘The King of Spin.’


    Michael, not so much

    We’re also hiring. We’re looking for an experienced software engineer and team lead to work with the CTO and help lead the current distributed development team.

    We’ve got lots of exciting things to share with you this summer. But before we do, I think we’re popping out to get some ice cream.

  • Boris Johnson, Sochi Olympics and Ski Instructors

    Posted in skiing on February 25, 2014


    Inspired by Sochi and need a ski instructor? Don’t worry, things are not as bad as Boris thinks…


    Team GB’s haul of four medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi was the best showing by a GB team since 1924. With British winter sports on the up at elite level, Ski Club of Great Britain is expecting a mass exodus of British people to European ski resorts like Chamonix and Morzine over the next few years. But what hope is there for people to learn when Boris suggests French instructors, “cost this country millions in the treatment of wholly unnecessary broken legs as well as retarded our progress up the medals rankings in the winter Olympics”?

    People young and old, all across Britain have been inspired by Team GB’s contingent of ‘Fridge Kids’ who took part in Sochi 2014 this winter. Off the back of Sochi, Ski Club of Great Britain is predicting a myriad of British people to descend on dry ski slopes in the UK, and on French resorts like Chamonix and Morzine. 95% of people who skied last season are expected to return to European resorts this winter, and 75% of inactive skiers intend on returning within the next three years.

    However, Boris Johnson warned on Sunday that by booking ski lessons through one of France’s big ski schools, British holiday-makers are likely to be matched with a native French, and possibly non-English speaking, instructor. He argued that ski schools run by UK nationals were difficult to find, and that the partnership of British student and French ski instructor is unlikely to be fruitful for the student – “wholly unnecessary broken legs” being the probable outcome.

    In fact, there are lots of fantastic British ski instructors working alongside French ones all across the Alps, and the reality is that for most Brits learning to ski, the nationality of their instructor is irrelevant. What’s most important for any student is that their instructor matches their learning style and helps them to improve their skiing in a fun and safe environment so that they’ll come back year after year. The problem that Boris really alludes to is that finding an instructor who fits that profile can be difficult, and often left to chance.

    It’s a problem that Nicola Broom, skiing enthusiast and co-founder of upmysport.com, is familiar with. She recalls, “In 2011 I was looking for a brilliant instructor to help me improve my skiing, but I found it hard enough to find any independent instructors, let alone the perfect instructor for me. Lots of my friends had the same problem; they often ended up giving up skiing after a poor learning experience at a big school or even started teaching themselves.”

    To help solve the problem, less than a year later Nicola co-founded a London-based startup called upmysport. upmysport is dedicated to helping people meet their perfect instructor. It is a web and mobile experience bringing together the community of passionate sports instructors, and connecting them with the millions of people in the UK who need guidance in sport.

    upmysport co-founders Neill, Nicola and Steve

    Upmysport co-founders Neill, Nicola and Steve (in need of running coaches…!)

    Launched in 2013, the community is growing, now featuring more than 400 lessons by instructors in both London and the Alps. That includes skiing and snowboarding lessons offered by both British and French instructors working in the French resorts of Chamonix and Morzine, and the 400 is set to grow as the instructors currently listing on upmysport are joined by others from resorts all over Europe and from the UK.

    Those who have booked instructors from the UK before going on their skiing holidays have found the website particularly useful. Nurette Stanford was delighted to have found Alison Culshaw, a ski instructor in Chamonix, she tweeted, “@upmysport@Offpisteperform great holiday made AWESOME by Alison’s instruction!! Glad we found you both!


    Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 13.56.36

    Nurette, after she met her perfect instructor, Alison Culshaw, through upmysport!

    With a successful Sochi for GB over, now is the time for Britain to shake off the tag of being a non-winter sports nation. As more people take to the slopes in the footsteps of their new sporting idols, upmysport are connecting them with their perfect instructor, increasing the chance that they’ll return the following year, and helping to make sure that the Sochi legacy is a long-lasting one.


    To find your perfect snowsports instructor in Chamonix and Morzine, or to search for London-based instructors across lots more sports, click the links below:

    Snowsports Instructors in Chamonix

    Snowsports Instructors in Morzine

    Sports Instructors in London

    upmysport is a UK-registered company, co-founded by Steve Brindley, Nicola Broom and Neill Pearman. The team is based in Central London, among a cluster of technology startup companies, and in the mountain town of Chamonix, France, the adventure capital of Europe and host of the first winter Olympic Games in 1924.

  • Snowboarding tips from Onyx: perfecting the Chuck Norris 50:50

    Posted in snowboarding on December 13, 2013

    Have you always wanted to do a Chuck Norris 50:50?

    Here’s an awesome tips video from Baden at Onyx Snowboarding giving you some great tips on how to pull it off:





    The Onyx Team are totally passionate about helping you improve your snowboarding. They offer lessons in Portes du Soleil, France (Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets), and Hemel Hempstead, UK. They also have some awesome summer camps in Les Deux Alpes, France.


    Take a look at their profile here.

  • New Partnership: time for upmysport to FOCUS

    Posted in upmysport on October 1, 2013

    upmysport is all about connecting people with great instructors so they can more easily reach their potential in sport & fitness. Our mission is a really positive one. We help instructors, and we help people – that really motivates us to do our best.

    As we continue on our mission, we are always excited to see anyone connect. It’s even more satisfying when we know we can help particular groups of people who will benefit from our service, so we’re really pleased to be able to support FOCUS, the UK’s expat community.

    FOCUS is a unique community for expats and international professionals in the UK. The multinational team share their first-hand knowledge on all aspects of living and working here. FOCUS members gain access to personalised information, events and seminars, including a career development programme for spouses seeking employment in the UK. FOCUS is considered their ‘network away from home’, and provides advice and referrrals for services that members would have asked their family and friends at home. Operating as a non-profit organisation FOCUS is proud to have been supporting expats for over 30 years.

    Alessandra Gnudi, FOCUS Executive Director, said: “FOCUS is delighted to recommend upmysport to our members who want to stay active and practice their favourite sport. For such busy professionals it is essential to find the right coach and trainer to make the most of the very little free time they have.”

    Steve, upmysport co-founder said, “We’re delighted to support FOCUS with the great work they do for expats in the UK. They are a fantastic team, providing a worthwhile service. We look forward to helping many expats with their health, fitness and sporting goals, and to developing the partnership over time.”

    If you’d like to find out more information about FOCUS, feel free to browse their website here.