Findel launches new sports equipment brand for schools and grassroots clubs

Just over a month after being acquired by French group, Manutan, Hyde-based educational resources supplier Findel has launched a new sports equipment brand for schools and grassroots clubs.

Shoshin provides high quality sports equipment, coaching resources and kit which focuses on developing and improving young individuals and teams through its equipment.

Derived from the Japanese concept of ‘beginner’s mindset’, Shoshin was chosen by Findel because it taps into a shared belief of how mastering sport is about always looking to improve and to do so, requires people to embrace a beginner’s mind.

Shoshin netballs

The brand has launched products across a range of sports including football, rugby, netball and basketball. Products include training and match balls, coaching resources such as bibs, cones and kicking tees, and accessories such as storage and kit bags.

All the respective sports balls have been designed with durability and performance front of mind, said Findel. Shoshin’s footballs come with a hard wearing outer which has been kick-tested more than 2,000 times, whilst the rugby balls are made with a blended rubber outer for longer life and extra durability.

Both the training and match balls for netball and basketball feature specialised grip patterns to improve handling, control and overall dexterity.

As part of the product development cycle, Shoshin reviewed every aspect of the manufacturing process to ensure the final products were delivered as sustainably as possible. All plastic product packaging has been replaced with 100% compostable and recyclable materials.

Findel’s origins as an educational resources supplier can be traced back to 1817. Today, the company’s brands and websites offer more than 32,000 products to educators and parents based in the UK and overseas with the business exporting to 130 countries.

Headquartered in Hyde, Findel also has a distribution centre and offices in Nottingham and employs around 300 people. As well as Shoshin and Davies Sports, the company’s brands comprise Hope, GLS, Philip Harris, and EuHu.

Heva Simpson, head of buying at Findel, said: “We understand the transformative power of physical education and sport and are passionate about nurturing the next generation of young athletes.

“Shoshin embodies this ethos. Our high quality, durable, and accessible equipment has been designed to support young people’s development and wellbeing, both physically and mentally, and fuel their passion for sports.

“Our goal is to become a trusted teammate and partner to schools and colleges, as well as grassroot clubs and their teams, to help unlock the sporting potential in children of all ages and abilities.”

Heva added: “Shoshin’s brand positioning line is ‘Ready to play. Set to improve’. We look forward to empowering, developing and motivating young people, teachers and coaches to realise their potential with the support of our high quality, high performance equipment.”

Findel’s leadership team undertook a management buyout (MBO) from Studio Retail Group in April 2021, valued at £30m.

A deal to sell the business for a reported £50m to the local authority-backed Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) had been blocked in June 2020 by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Paris-based Manutan, an established player in European B2B ecommerce, completed its acquisition of Findel in March, for an undisclosed sum.

Manutan has a specialism in educational supplies and employs 2,200 people. It operates 28 subsidiaries across 17 European countries, including the UK.