Gary Crookes ShadowBall Inventor – Episode 17

Oct 31, 2018

Episode 17: Gary Crookes - Inventor of ShadowBall

Gary Crookes is the inventor, founder and MD of ShadowBall. ShadowBall is a weighted, half a rugby ball, which is being hailed as one of the greatest new innovations in rugby. The ShadowBall is engineered to rebound off any wall and come spiralling back to the passer, and for the first time ever, it enables rugby players to train solo passing and catching. However it is more than just a ball; it has evolved into a full- fledged rugby skills training program.

In this episode we discuss Gary's journey into entrepreneurship and how he was able to grow ShadowBall into the worldwide brand it is today. We also discuss a cornerstone of the ShadowBall brand, which is to give back to communities and to facilitate accessibility among disadvantaged youth to be able to develop their technical rugby skills.


gary crookes and shadowball team


A large part of Gary's success has been the key partnerships he formed along the way, such as Stellenbosch University's Sports Science Institute and Nashua. He also found in former professional rugby player Gcobani Bobo a great business partner and brand ambassador. ShadowBall has been nominated for the 'Cutting Edge' sports award, and for the 'Best New Sponsorship' for the collaboration with Nashua to establish the Nashua Rugby Skills Project. Since 2015 when they enrolled their first 500 kids from 4 schools into the ShadowBall Academy, they have enrolled a whopping 2500 kids in 2017, and have doubled this number to 5000 in 2018!

Key Takeaways:



To purchase a ShadowBall, find out more about ShadowBall Academy or if you are a school interested in bringing the ShadowBall programme to your kids, visit their website at

You can also find Gary and the ShadowBall team on social media by following the hashtag #garycrookes or #shadowball, or follow them on Instagram: @garycrookes and @shadowball_team

Other links and mentions:

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