A CORNISH website created in Cardinham dedicated to helping people find when and where they can get active is set to go nationwide.
Created by mum-of-three Sam Taylor from her home office in the village near Bodmin, sofadodger.co.uk enables users to search for any sporting or exercise activity in their local area.
The website went live in January with information on activities in Cornwall, from parent and toddler groups to adults’ sports clubs and exercise classes for the over 60s.
Sam is now busy gathering information from fitness instructors and sports clubs across the UK to launch the site nationwide in the next few weeks.
When she was setting up SofaDodger, Sam joined the Oxford Innovation Coaching for High Growth programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). With support from Oxford Innovation coaches, she successfully bid for European match funding, which proved crucial to the development of her new business.
Sam said: “From concept to launch, Oxford Innovation has been really supportive and encouraging. My coaches helped me bid for European funding, which I simply could not have continued without. I have come out of every coaching session feeling positive because at least one key issue has always been resolved.”
Sam already ran an online business and came up with the concept for SofaDodger in 2012 when she was frustrated by the lack of information on local activities for her three children. A member of Bodmin Hockey Club, she also knew how difficult it could be for amateur sports groups, with limited time and budgets, to market themselves.
SofaDodger is not only free for users, it also represents a free marketing opportunity for organisers of sports clubs and exercise classes.
Sam added: “Sofa Dodger will level the playing field for fitness trainers and sports’ clubs to publicise their schedules. The system allows organisers to create a timetable, which they can use simultaneously on their own websites so they don’t have to update their listings in more than one place. I have worked hard to ensure the site is easy for those providing activities as well as those looking for things to do.”
The site also features an “I’m attending” button, which allows people to tell their friends on social media that they are going to a particular class or session. Users can also set up a ‘watch list’ to find out, for example, when a new Zumba class starts in their town.
To find out more about Sofa Dodger, visit www.sofadodger.co.uk.