“Transitioning away from your dream job is never easy, especially when it’s not on your own terms.”

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Former Kent player Charlie Hartley has been a busy man. At the age of just 26, the fast bowler has bounced back from being released from Canterbury in 2017 by investing in three separate projects: Moonrise Sports, Lock and Learn and Postcode Connect.

With plans to donate a portion of Moonrise’s income to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, we spoke to Charlie to find out more about his motivations, how the service operates and why he has chosen to support the players’ charity, which offers life-changing assistance to PCA members and their immediate families when they need it most.

  • Q: Having left Kent at the end of the 2017 season, how has your transition out of professional cricket been?
  • A: The honest answer is that it’s been tough, like I’m sure it is for most players. The transition away from a job you love is never easy, especially when it’s not on your own terms. When I first heard the news I was determined to prove everyone wrong and get another contract, so I worked hard during the next season to get signed by another county. I impressed at Derbyshire and got very close to another contract but unfortunately because of the financial situation at the club I was unable to secure myself another deal. I had put so much energy into that season that I decided enough was enough and I didn’t want to pursue cricket again until I had provided a stable income for myself away from the sport.
  • Q: Have you always had career interests outside of cricket?
  • A: I have always wanted to be successful and make a difference, but when I was playing cricket my honest belief was that I was going to have a long career in the game so I wasn’t as focused on life after sport as I should’ve been.
  • Q: Working with mobile phone applications seems to be an interest, how did that come about?
  • A: It all started with my Lock and Learn app. The idea came to me halfway through my playing career and it slowly grew in my mind until I was released. When that moment came I went head first into the concept to try and distract me from the reality of losing my dream job. Now, I am finally in a position where I am as passionate about growing my own business as I was about training to be the best player I could be.
  • Q: I know you have multiple ventures in your portfolio, are you able to explain your businesses?
  • A: I am invested into three projects:
  • 1) Moonrise Sports allows anyone to engage with professional sports people in three different ways. Fans can get a personal message from a sports person for any special occasion, a 30-minute conversation with the chance to quiz players and coaches at the top of their game, or video coaching analysis so young players can improve upon any area of their game.
  • 2) Lock and Learn is an educational parental control app with over 30,000 teacher-written questions for KS1, KS2, KS3, GCSE and 11+. As well as being a very useful revision app for children, Lock and Learn provides a unique function where parents can set schedules during the day where children must answer an educational quiz to retrieve apps from their smartphones.
  • 3) Postcode Connect allows people to offer a helping hand to someone in their local community. Anyone can offer support on the site and use their postcode for a reference. The community spirit during the Covid-19 lockdown has been inspirational and I’m committed to building a platform to support the most vulnerable.
  • Q: Have you noticed many transferable skills from bowling to building apps?
  • A: My absolute favourite element of bowling is problem solving. I loved trying to work out a batsman’s weaknesses and putting in place a plan to get them out. I think this is crucial in business, being able to think clearly and formulate a plan to overcome a problem. This has been so useful throughout the last two-and-a-half years of having been involved in various startups.
  • Q: Why did you create Moonrise?
  • A: We often look at the big organisations to find sporting talent but I believe that every individual should have access to the best coaches in the world. At Moonrise, we provide everyone with an equal opportunity to learn. For me it’s crucial for everyone to have equal opportunities in life and I want to help provide that.
  • Q: What are your short to medium term goals with Moonrise?
  • A: In the short term I am just wanting to build the Moonrise brand. I want people to start engaging with the brand in a positive way.
  • Q: How can players and members of the public get involved?
  • A: For professionals in any sector we have an application form on the website under “Talk to a Pro” where they can apply and we will be in touch to add them to the site.
  • Members of the public can go to moonrisesports.com and browse the list of professional sports players we currently have on the site to find out more info.
  • Q: You are hoping to support the Professional Cricketers’ Trust via Moonrise. Can you explain more?
  • A: I really want to start my journey by giving back instead of taking. Throughout the recent crisis, we have seen businesses completely change the way they operate to help ease the burden on the NHS and other areas of society. I aspire to one day be one of those business owners who can make a difference.
  • I feel privileged to have played professional cricket and equally proud to be a part of the PCA. The work they do to support players past and present is amazing and I am aiming to donate everything Moonrise earns in the month of August to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust as a way of saying thank you.
  • Q: How do you see your apps and future career evolving?
  • A: With Moonrise, I am hoping to create a large sports brand with no limits to where it can go. I am currently building many areas of the brand and I look forward to sharing that with everyone in the near future.
  • I also believe I can turn Lock and Learn into one of the most used educational apps out there. I hope it will help to positively change the way children get addicted to their devices by simply teaching them that in life if you want something you have to earn it.
  • Q: Anything else you would like to add?
  • A: If anyone would like to know more about any of my ventures regarding investment, sponsorship or to just to ask a few questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!