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FORWARD PLANNING HELPS JACKSON MAKE SMOOTH TRANSITION

Callum Jackson, the former Sussex and Kent wicketkeeper, is proof that you are never too young to plan for a future outside the game by launching two successful businesses with the help of the Professional Cricketers’ Association.

Jackson, 22, was released by Sussex at the end of the 2015 season and signed by Kent midway through last season when Adam Rouse was injured.

The former England Under-19 international had considered trialling with other counties this summer but, having spent the winter working as a personal trainer and developing Slate, an app designed to help sports clubs improve their method of tracking players’ match fees, he has little free time.

The PCA helped fund Jackson’s personal trainer qualifications and a spinning course through educational funding and offered practical help on possible future careers outside of cricket through Nick Denning, one of the PCA’s team of Personal Development Managers

“The PCA have helped me a lot. They got me through my personal training qualification while I was with Sussex and my spinning qualification after my last year at Kent.

“Those courses are not cheap and I wouldn’t have been able to do them without the PCA funding.

“Also having Nick Denning there advising on what I should be looking to do outside cricket was a great help. I don’t think I would have done the courses without that guidance.

“We also did business workshops when I was in the academy at Sussex and that has certainly helped with setting up Slate and becoming a self-employed personal trainer.”

Jackson may have started planning for life after cricket early but it has helped him to make a smooth transition out of the game.

“I knew that cricket wasn’t going to last forever and I have seen people in the second team in their late twenties and early thirties who don’t really know what they want to do outside of cricket and they think that cricket is the only option,” Jackson said.

“I was scared of that when I was playing cricket but it was quite reassuring knowing I had a few things behind me. Generally, making the transition isn’t very easy. I would say I have been lucky but I have definitely worked really hard this winter and I was fairly smart in what I did while I was still playing cricket to set myself up for this.

“Obviously I wanted to play cricket and have a long old career. But I never had an easy ride in my career. I was always playing for my contract.”

Jackson is now based in Fulham where he combines working as a personal trainer at a gym in Ladbroke Grove with expanding Slate which is already used by 60 sports clubs.

“It’s a match fee collecting app to help sports clubs track match fees and helps players pay their match fees,  getting rid of the need for cash. It’s all done on the app so a player clicks on the app and the money comes straight out of his account and the captain can track who has paid,” Jackson said.

 “Me and my dad, Matthew, came up with the idea when we were playing for our village team a few years ago. We realised that everything is done on contactless payment or online banking these days but there was nothing out there like this for sports clubs.

“So we got our heads together, we got a development company to build the app for us and we got some investors on board.

“The biggest hurdle was getting out there to the investors, getting in front of these people. Once we had got the funding that is when the hard work started because we then had to sell it to sports clubs.”

“The app is free. There is no annual subscription, just a small percentage per transaction.

“If a sports club is struggling to keep track of their match fees by using Slate there will be no place for the players to hide. If they collect one more match fee by using Slate then it will pay for itself.

“I suspect most PCA members are familiar with this problem at their local club – trying to collect the cash after a game. We believe this can be a huge benefit to grassroots clubs and any help from PCA members to spread the word would be great.”

To find out more about the Personal Development and Welfare Programme click here.

For more information about Slate visit: www.slateapp.co.uk