The man behind the brand

Klaaskickz was founded and created by Mark Connaughton, An Irish based football coach with over 10 years’ experience. Mark has lived the football life. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and started his football journey aged 4. Since then, he has gone on to represent Ireland in football in 2015, captain his college football team (Sligo I.T), and has coached football in both Ireland and the USA. Mark is passionate about the full development of young children and believes that by developing good habits at a young age you can learn more than football skills, you can learn life skills.

Where it all began

Mark, the creator of Klaaskickz, was coaching a summer camp in America back in 2019 when a student asked, “what part of the foot should I use?”. He gave a verbal explanation followed by a visual demonstration but still the child struggled. Mark noticed other children having similar difficulties which prompted him to conduct a survey to discover how widespread this issue was. He surveyed 100 students between the ages of 5-12, asking them to identify the inside of the foot, the outside of the foot, the sole, and the laces. Only 9% of children were able to name all four parts.

After more research, Mark was shocked to discover that 50% of primary school children in Ireland can’t kick a soccer ball correctly. This was a problem he felt compelled to solve. After 8 prototypes, vigorous testing and 18 months of hard work, Mark had a product to solve this problem.

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What puts the klaas in klaaskickz?

Klaaskickz is named after Mark's dad, Klaas. Klaas is of Dutch and Nigerian heritage but lived in Ireland all his life. He introduced Mark to football at the age of 4 and Mark has since spent his life playing, teaching, and living the sport. Football has been an avenue for Mark to express himself in life and has helped him to develop important life skills.