haven uncovers the person behind the business name and the ‘mum’ tag. This month it’s Zoe Pepyat, owner of Little Big Sport on the Gold Coast. Zoe is mum to son Ari (5) and wife to Kav, they live at Varsity Lakes.
Tell us about Little Big Sport and how you are involved?
My husband Kav started Little Big Sport in 2011 and it was originally intended to keep him busy doing something he loved.
However the demand was there and he ended up needing to hire coaches and establish more venues. I quit my job as a teacher to help with the business and before we knew it, Little Big Sport became the largest privately owned soccer company on the Gold Coast!
Did you play sport as a child?
I grew up in rural Victoria where the majority of people were migrants from Turkey, Greece and Italy. Naturally, soccer was the number one sport there but tended to be mostly for boys. Things have changed and lot since then and these days there are mixed and girls’ teams. At Little Big Sport we are always encouraging girls to participate and the number of female participants is steadily growing. I still play social soccer as much as I can, but most of my activities outside of work are with my family.
In your opinion, why is it important for kids to play a sport?
I believe that starting off with a healthy lifestyle from an early age is extremely important. I have my parents to thank for my healthy eating habits and active lifestyle and I am doing my best to pass this onto my son as well. I think that if kids learn healthy habits early on then it will be just that, a habit, and they will carry it on throughout their lives. Sport is nourishing for the body and mind. I love team sport because it gets me out there being social, which is great after a busy day/week at work!
Other than the obvious ball skills, what additional skills does soccer teach kids?
We find that participants develop social skills and make new friendships quite quickly. Some of our games require them to work together so it’s fun to see them work as a team. As a parent, it is great to see kids following instructions from someone other than their parent or teacher, and having loads of fun at the same time. These things all go hand in hand with building their confidence. I have personally seen so many shy and nervous little ones turn into outgoing and confident children – it’s so wonderful to see!
Which sports star is your biggest inspiration?
Wow, there are just so many to choose from! We all know that the best players get paid phenomenal amounts of money to do what they do, but so many of them were not handed this on a silver platter. If I had to choose one, I’d say Didier Drogba (recently retired Chelsea player).
Not only was he an awesome striker, but he has donated more than £3 million to African charities and has helped build a hospital in his home town on the Ivory Coast. Who doesn’t love a philanthropist?!
What do you do to unwind?
I like to escape to the beach whenever time permits. The cinema is great too, or a massage.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I’d love to be able to slow down with work a bit more, and spend more time with my family.