A fitness and recovery product made by a Kilkenny-based company is being used by some of the world’s most successful athletes, including former Ireland star Robbie Keane and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
The ProFitstick is a flexible exercise tool which can be used in many different exercises for flexibility, stability, and posture. It can be used by all ages and abilities.
Designer and maker, entrepreneur Richard Weldon, had an unusual journey to realising the success of his latest big idea. Originally from Dublin, he was badly injured in a farming accident — caught in the belts of a combine harvester for 18 minutes. As he began his recovery, he discovered the rehab equipment he was given was too rigid and didn’t bend to suit his needs.
And so, like any good entrepreneur, Richard set about making his own.
“I was in hospital for six months, and started drawing on paper in the bed, because they didn’t have what I needed,” he said.
“I said, ‘I can make my own’."
Richard then went back to college — to Carlow IT — to learn how to design what he had in his head. With the parts manufactured abroad, he now assembles the product himself in his workshop in Threecastles.
“I can make about 150 a day, but I’m only using one arm because of the accident,” he says.
“I could make 300 a day with two good arms!”
ProFitstick was launched in 2016, and Richard then followed it up last year with a new sports massage tool, ‘ProFitstick Massage’. It’s also proving hugely popular, and its size means it is portable and handy for use in the office and on the go.
Richard is open to potential investment; the product is patented, and the labour is ongoing. His next ambition is to get the ProFitsticks into schools, and demonstrate its benefits as an exercise and flexibility aid for young people. To this end, he has already spoken to Minister John Halligan, who was reportedly impressed with the product.
Richard hopes to have the Sticks available in more local sports shops next month, but in the meantime, they are available at www.profitstick.com or contact him on 086-2517375.