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‘Back to Sport’ Parent Hacks

young football players in a huddle with their coach

 What we wish we’d been told sooner!

As parents and children prepare for the new school year ahead, our Laceeze founder Emma Burke and fellow sports’ accessory inventor Cary Marsh from Bootclaw got their heads together to talk about what advice they would give to new parents starting their child’s football or rugby journey. We thought you might like to save yourself a few headaches and read it here first!

Mum with 3 boys stood in front of a football goal

(Cary Marsh, Founder & Inventor of Bootclaw)

Cary, mum to three boys, was sick of her kids having thick mud on the bottom of their rugby and football boots and yes dragging it all into the car afterwards! Instead of using keys, random cutlery, or anything else that came to hand – Cary wanted to design a product that would help kids perform better during sport (without being bogged down by mud) and be a practical tool for parents too. This gem of an idea manifested in the now global selling– a plastic device that cleans thick mud from footwear used for sport and other outdoor activities.

Cary tells us; “I’m a mum of three boys who play football and rugby and every week, by half time, they would be carrying around twice the weight of the boot itself in mud. Basic physics tells you this is going to have a direct impact on their acceleration and running speed. As an engineer I designed a product with performance enhancement in mind, but it soon became very clear that there was a need for this product to solve a much more widespread problem of bringing mud into the car or the house on a wide range of footwear. It’s a single injection mould part making it extremely efficient to manufacture at scale. It can be pantone matched to any colour and custom embossed – perfect for club merchandising.”

Cary gives us her 7 #backtosport top tips that she wished someone had told her sooner: 

#1 It might sound dramatic but never leave the house without water, snacks and tissues!! Trust me, once you nail this, your life will become much easier!

#2 Trainers and football boots can go through the washing machine with old towels.

#3 Always keep an umbrella and a camping chair in the boot.

#4 Keep a bag of old clothes in the boot for emergency changes, as well as a plastic bag for muddy boots and socks.

#5 Sporty kids get HANGRY fast! Batch cook pasta sauces and freeze in flat zip seal bags for easy defrosting.

#6 Use frozen bread for packed lunches. In the winter it means you can spread hard butter easily, and the bread defrosts by lunchtime to be super-fresh and soft.

#7 Always keep a Bootclaw in the bootbag and the boot of the car for after matches (well, I would say that but it’s a game changer!)

On the side of a similar muddy playing field our very own Emma Burke was fed up of watching her children and their teammates constantly stopping to tie their laces during a match, or worse still watching an exasperated coach bending down to help, again and again. After months of research and product development, Emma invented the now market-leading Laceeze bands, a simple but highly effective product made from the highest quality silicon with ribbed technology to improve the grip around your shoe and effectively to stop laces coming undone.

Emma Burke with Laceeze bands and football sat in front of goal

(Emma Burke, Founder & Inventor of Laceeze)

Emma comments; “It’s amazing to see how much more confident children are when they wear our bands and it’s always such a pleasure to hear positive feedback from the parents and coaches. Bands being seen on feet is our best marketing tool and this would explain why a Sunday afternoon/evening is our best day for sales after grassroots’ matches have been played. We also encourage children to still learn how to tie their laces – a vital life skill – because the bands are designed to secure across a single tie.”

Emma gives us her 7 #backtosport top tips that she has personally (and painstakingly) learnt over the years:

#1 Boot brands are constantly bringing out new designs and colourways. It’s impossible to keep up with the latest trends (and your bank balance won’t thank you). Don't get sucked into the latest boots’ marketing and peer pressure. 

#2 Wet football boots smell really, really bad! Even though you're freezing, soaked through and just want a roast dinner - don't leave the boots wet. Fill them with kitchen roll and dry them in an airing cupboard or somewhere warm. Or, invest in a BootBanana – a life hack for sure!

#3 If your club needs a volunteer and you consider the role make sure you know how much of your time it will take and double it!! But don't be put off because it’s really rewarding.

#4 Learn the offside rule early on. When this rule comes into play (u12) it’s good to have an idea of what’s going on but don't be too vocal or you will be asked to run the line!

#5 Kids love football but sometimes even the weather can wear a bit thin for them, be prepared to have outfield gloves, base layers and a towel as essential kit. Like Cary says, keep a bag of spare old clothes in the car too.

#6 Wet Sunday mornings standing in a field can be rewarding but make sure you're prepared in advance - thermos coffee flask, thermal waterproof gloves and warm socks. 

#7 Shoe laces come undone regardless of double knots!! Get some Laceeze and make everyone enjoy their experience so much more, well I would say that too!

If you have any of your own #parenthacks then we want to hear them! Simply email and if your advice gets featured on our socials then we will send you a pair of complimentary Laceeze bands.



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