Belfast Telegraph

I'm glad to be in business and not playing rugby, says former Ulster star Andrew Trimble

Former Ulster star Andrew Trimble speaking at the One-Zero event
Former Ulster star Andrew Trimble speaking at the One-Zero event

By Shawn Pogatchnik

Former Ireland rugby star Andrew Trimble says he's happier building a business than he would be competing at the World Cup in Japan this week.

Mr Trimble, now the chief executive of sports planning platform Kairos, is emphatic when asked if he misses the glory days from his 70 Irish caps from 2005 to 2017, or his 223 appearances for Ulster.

"No way. Not a chance," he said, as the company he founded shared the Aviva Stadium spotlight yesterday at the One-Zero business of sport conference.

"I'm very happy being in a new chapter with new challenges and new people, and being more creative," he said.

"The challenges, experiences and people in my rugby career all were amazing, It played a big part in making me who I am, so I'm thankful for that - but I'm also very thankful that it's over."

He says Kairos Technology, the organisation app he's building atop a team of six in Belfast, has 10 professional club clients, including Ulster Rugby, Old Belvedere RFC, Down GAA and the Northern Ireland football squad.

The barely year-old firm has received more than £700,000 in start-up funding, chiefly from economic development agency Invest NI and affiliates.

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Kairos is designed to provide a one-stop shop for athletes trying to manage several demands, from training and one-to-one appointments with physios and coaches to diet and training goals and graphic analysis of training session performance tracked by body GPS units.

Mr Trimble says his inspiration comes directly from his own struggles to stay personally organised at Ulster Rugby.

"It was way more complicated than it had to be," he said.

"Especially when, as is the case for anybody who's performing a skill or presenting or pitching, you must thoroughly prepare and then execute. That approach means you have to be single minded, all the more so with sports people who face so much criticism and pressure and public attention to every detail of what you do on the pitch."

Now, all team members at Ulster Rugby and other Kairos clients are receiving 100% of their planning and training goals through the platform.

"We're developing a real level of trust in the product," he said.

Mr Trimble says life as a tech innovator is less stressful and allows more time with wife Anna, son Jack and daughter Molly.

"With Ulster I would train hard all week, I'd get my head kicked in on Friday night and I'd be limping around the rest of the weekend, all to start over again on Monday," he added.

Belfast Telegraph