Duke of Edinburgh meets Kimpton businessman
A KIMPTON businessman who has “reinvented the wall” to help make children more active has explained his innovation to an impressed Duke of Edinburgh.
Tim Worboys, founder of Walljam, has designed a special multi-purpose sports rebound wall and activity zone, to encourage kids to put their Xboxes and PlayStations to one side.
Tim and other entrepreneurs from Herts met Prince Philip when he recently officially opened My Incubator, a business start-up facility at the Business and Technology Centre in Stevenage.
The hub provides flexible facilities and business support to regional companies and has backed the launch of 50 firms.
Local entrepreneurs shared stories of starting up and prospering during the recession, including Walljam, an innovative sports and fitness company.
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Tim said it was only the second time he had met a member of the royal family, and that he had “nothing but respect for the Duke of Edinburgh”.
He added: “What I liked was the glint in his eye. He showed great enthusiasm for meeting everyone. The Duke of Edinburgh wanted to stay and talk to people – he was a genuinely nice guy.
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“He said a few funny things too. Prince Philip has a good sense of humour. One of my freestanding walls uses recycled plastic, which encloses the steel structure, and he said: ‘Everyone needs to be recycling nowadays, don’t they?’”
Tim explained that he instigated construction of the interactive wall because of “the alarming drop off in sports participation and corresponding increase in obesity levels”.
The wall is a blend of traditional street gaming, using a ball and a wall, combined with technology applied within the likes of X-Box or Wii consoles.
The former chartered surveyor and keen sportsman commissioned Roald Bradstock, who competed in the Olympics in 1984 and 1988 and is an Olympic artist, to design artwork for the targets which inform users about embedded targets.
The first prototype of the wall was installed at the Harefield Academy in June this year, and is being tested by students and members of the Watford FC Academy, whose feedback is helping Walljam further refine the wall.
The interactive structure is aimed at schools and the leisure market, including hotels.