Franchising in the World of Allied Health

Taking sense rugby global

I interviewed Carlien Parahi on episode 116 of the Private Practice Made Perfect Podcast where she shared how they successfully took their business, Sense Rugby, to other OTs around Australia and globally. She was a wealth of knowledge and as so generous in sharing their story. As an allied health business owner, you may find some useful tips and lessons that you can adapt into your own practice.

Sense Rugby is a therapy program that is run using rugby equipment and modified rugby drills. It may be likened to a gross motor skills program or social skills program. The goal of the program is to take the group environment into the community and make it meaningful and functional for the kids. It is run as a weekly program alongside school terms in partnership with rugby clubs. Therapists, mostly OTAs, and rugby coaches deliver the program together.

Now, they have successfully taken Sense Rugby globally by adapting the franchising model. This allows them to work alongside other OTs in any part of Australia or the world. The business is now fully franchised but the couple is still deeply and actively involved in it.

hat they found out is that teaming up with local practices really worked well. This is because they had a case load of kids they knew would suit the program. The OTs run the program with their existing therapy. They’ve gone the full business model running alongside other OTs running it. 

This process and model has allowed the husband and wife tandem to be involved with each and every partner they have, check in with the therapists as they go along. The program is constantly adapting, changing and people are constantly learning from each other. There is ongoing collaboration and support within the whole community in Sense Rugby.

Future plans for Sense Rugby include a partnership with the country of Dubai who is interested in making Sense Rugby a part of their schools. As a nation, UAE is committed to serve all people, including those with disabilities. The program will be part of that process for making sport accessible. They also have plans of expanding and working with people from New Zealand and the USA in the coming months

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