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New company in Sudbury aims to personalize physical education in schools

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With a personalized profile and the click of a button, REPerformance is finding a way to change physical education from just another mandatory class into skills that will last a lifetime.

“(Gym’s) not the same as every other class, right? It’s not a pass or fail, it’s about building healthy habits in kids for life,” said Callen McGibbon, co-founder and CEO of REPerformance.

“So individualizing an experience for every student is really challenging for teachers, so our platform allows that to happen.”

McGibbon said in just two years, REPerformance supports more than 1,000 students a day with hundreds of teachers using the product in Canada. There are also pilot programs in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“The need is big from the standpoint that 99 per cent of students are not playing sports past high school,” he said.

“So to be able to equip kids with skills like understanding how to eat, understanding meditation, understating yoga, understanding fitness, giving kids those individual skills in their phys-ed experience then equips them to be successful in life in their own health.”

App has two sides to it

McGibbon said the web application has two sides to it in order to help teachers, coaches and students with their fitness journey. One is assessments that typically happen in phys-ed classes.

“Those assessments are generally recorded on paper, pen," he said. "It’s very hard to share that information with a student to let them know how they’re doing over time. So the first part of our platform digitizes that experience."

The second part is an AI system that builds customized workout plans for every student based on their needs and lifestyle.

Not only has the program caught attention in the education system, but most recently the Sudbury Catalyst Fund invested $220,000 into the business.

“REPerformance embodies the spirit of the type of deals we’re looking to (support),” said Don Duval, Sudbury Catalyst Fund co-founder and NORCAT CEO.

“A great opportunity, a platform, transformation platform technology to kind of redefine how to manage wellness and sport potential, coupled with the fact that you have an exceptional CEO and founder who knows how to build a company, that’s the kind of spirit and tech companies that we’re looking to invest in.”

The fund started up about two years ago just before the COVID-19 pandemic. REPerformance is the third investment the fund has made so far.

“We want to invest in great startup tech companies to help them grow in scale,” said Duval. “We play in that very early stage, kind of first capital in, so many of the transactions that we look at are pre-revenue, pre-capitalized. We move in and provide them that necessary capital to get them some meaningful milestones and continue to grow.”

Duval said it's more than just a financial investment.

“To qualify to be considered for investment, all of the tech companies have to be a client of the NORCAT innovation centre," he said.

"So the NORCAT mentors will work with these companies, figure out if they have any blind spots or where they might need some improvements, but ultimately what we’re trying to do at NORCAT is get them ready to pitch.”

Right now, the program sells for $350 per teacher per year, but McGibbon said school boards can also buy it for the entire board.

“My vision would be to ensure that every student has the skills to take care of their own physical health when they graduate school,” he said.

“The world is our market. There isn’t a country that doesn’t have phys-ed and I don’t really truly feel that there isn’t a child in the world that doesn’t deserve to learn those skills.” Top Stories

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