Francisco's Story: How democratising access to sports became TeamSportz' mission!

Sport & Fitness
April 13, 2023
3 min read

Francisco's Story: How democratising access to sports became TeamSportz' mission!

In our previous article, we talked about how technology can democratise the access to sports participation and increase the number of people participating in and benefiting from sport. In this article, our Founder will tell you more a bit more about his story and mission and how TeamSportz was founded, as a way to make technology accessible to underrepresented groups.

As many sports enthusiasts might relate, I followed my mom’s footsteps and started playing basketball very young and quickly went from just collecting newspaper clippings of her games to spending all of my free time playing. Basketball became an escape of the harsh realities of my environment(the Angolan Civil War) and was the cause of many childhood escapades as I bunked off school to play around town with my friends. Basketball followed me around everywhere as I moved to study in Brazil and when I came to the UK to pursue a career in software development, where I spent many lunch breaks shooting some hoops in the outdoors court near my office.

The prototype of our wearable device

Basketball has been an integral part of my life for many years and as a driven, passionate and constantly curious person, I’m always looking for ways to improve my performance. As I saw technology as a powerful tool to improve, I tried a few options that only let me track how far I ran and my heart rate but didn’t really help me analyse my basketball practices and matches, which I realised was a problem other amateur players in a similar situation would be having. Aware of my talents as a software engineer and my passion for basketball, I started dreaming of biulding a solution that could impact many people by enabling them to be more active, practise sports and use cutting edge technology affordably. We started building the first iteration of TeamSportz, a wearable device and realised it had a key flaw- it was not available and accessible for everyone and did not benefit all types of people that participate in physical activity such as people exercising in wheelchairs or children keeping active.

Since then, the constant improvements we have made to TeamSportz have been wholeheartedly to serve grassroot sports, which from my first-hand experience have been left underserved. This is a result of a narrow view of sports participation, where too much money is spent and built for top tier teams and organisations and far too little is built for lower tier, amateur sports teams. These teams have been consistently denied access to any sports technology that might be able to help improve athletes’ performance. That's the problem we're trying to solve. We want to bring that sort of technology that is widely available for professionals and give it to everyone- our mission remains to democratise sport and give everyone a chance to achieve their full potential by providing them support and analysis that professional players currently receive.

While doing so, we create technology that doesn’t leave anyone behind and is adaptable to people in wheelchairs and keeps children active, in any geographical location, so it works for anyone, anywhere. This allows us, at the end of the day to be a force for good, increasing levels of activity around the world and enabling communities that don't believe sports is for them. I want to live in a world that is more equal and has more opportunities. That has been my driving force in starting TeamSportz and I have been on a journey for the last few years to figure out the ‘how’. My passion in building TeamSportz stems from my life experience, from knowing first-hand the impact that technology and sports made in my life as a father, husband, and professionally. Now I’m all in and am putting that into TeamSportz, with the hope that by making AI simple, affordable, and accessible it will also have a positive impact on others’ lives, while democratising  access to sports performance.