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Get to Know Us

Our Story

Tony Dowson
Company Owner

A self-confessed ‘sports nut’, Tony spent much of his childhood playing sport. Representing the school teams and/or local sports clubs in athletics, cross-country, basketball, rugby, tennis, football and cricket; playing for Durham County in the latter two sports, it was pretty obvious a career in sport would be the chosen path. After obtaining a Sports Science degree from Surrey University (Roehampton University) and a PGCE in PE from Loughborough University he began teaching in 1998. After 4 years of full time teaching, Tony returned to Loughborough and completed a Master’s degree in Sports Science. Whilst obtaining his MSc, Tony also completed the 2-year course in fitness training/strength and conditioning, offered by the Football Association and used his knowledge and experience, to support the England Women’s Football Academy players, whilst working part-time as the S&C coach. Tony has had two games books published; aimed at teachers and coaches - Fun and Games and More Fun and Games were published by Human Kinetics in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Tony has over 20 National Governing Body Coaching Awards. This is in a range of sports including; trampolining, gymnastics, cricket, basketball, volleyball, tennis, athletics, Olympic weightlifting, badminton and rugby. Tony played semi-professional football for 20 years, has a UEFA B coaching licence, and this is the main sport that he has coached. As well as coaching many successful school teams, running the Gateshead District teams, he has also coached for the Newcastle United and Fulham community schemes. In 2004 he guided Loughborough University Women’s team to the BUSA Championship and Leicestershire Cup (beating Leicester City Ladies in the final). He also helped the team to the 5th Round of the FA Cup, where they narrowly lost 2-1 to Birmingham City Ladies, who at the time were in the Premier division of Women’s football.


He is an associate member/member of the following sports organisations.

UKSCA – UK Strength and Conditioning Association

The FA Licenced Coaches Club

IPLA – International Physical Literacy Association

SHAPE Performance


SHAPE Performance was founded by Tony Dowson in 2006. Originally providing sports science workshops to A level PE and BTEC sport students, we were asked to provide many services to Primary Schools, including leadership training for playground games, after-school clubs, PE Curriculum Support and PPA cover amongst other things. We have also provided many services to School Sports Partnerships, and delivered many competitions for School Games events. Tony combined the business work with teaching secondary school PE at Whickham Sports College until 2018. Since that time, he has worked in Primary Schools delivering PE lessons and Curriculum support to Primary School teachers. The focus of the company in recent times has switched to providing Award Winning holiday coaching courses, football and futsal coaching, in addition to many other services to local Primary and Middle Schools. We also provide 1-2-1 and small group fitness training and football training sessions to private clients. We regularly provide football and sports/games parties, usually for birthdays. 

SP Inflatables and Bouncy Castles

In 2021, we purchased a number of inflatables, so we could offer something different at our holiday coaching courses. We still take these to a different venue once or twice throughout the week but we also hire these out for events and private parties. We have a range of inflatables but are hoping to grow the number substantially over the next 12 months. The SP inflatables website is in production, but see the page on this website for more details. 

Ryton Shape Performance Football and Futsal Club (SPFFC)

Initially starting teams for his oldest child at a local grassroots football club, Tony decided to start his own club in 2018 as he wanted to ensure children received a great experience where fun and development were priorities for U7 to U12 age groups, so that excessive pressure to win and coaches who didn’t provide an enjoyable experience were kept away from the players. The club has expanded massively, from two U7 teams in 2018, to over 10 teams at present. Most of the players who play for the club have attended our Monday night or Saturday morning sessions and nearly all of the girls who play for the U10 girls team started their playing at the Girls Only session we run on a Wednesday. 

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