Meet the team

 

Managing Director

Meet the team Patrick-1

PATRICK ARNOLD – MANAGING DIRECTOR

I play cricket for my village Eynsham in Oxfordshire and hockey for Oxford Hawks (previously Wimbledon hockey and cricket) and 5 a side football for Boca Seniors! I have always loved sports and used to organise all the club tours at university. When I was working for HSBC in London I got into watching England cricket overseas and was there when the Barmy Army launched in 1994/5. Following further supporting trips to South Africa and the West Indies I then got to play cricket in South Africa for my club and in Croatia and Austria with the MCC. This experience pushed me toward starting Living With The Lions in 2000 and here we are today! What makes us different? We are still just a small team but every person here loves the sports that we follow and adds their own personality and enthusiasm to each trip that we run. I have been married to Sarah for 15 years and we have three young sports fans, Freddie, Hana and Eve.

 

Supporters Team

Meet the team Gail

GAIL GIBSON – OPERATIONS MANAGER

I have been involved in Travel for quite some years now. After studying languages (French, German & Italian) at Leicester University, my first job took me out to the French Alps as a chalet girl. 3 winter seasons, two summers in Turkey and a season of walking tours in Italy later, I set up a small ski chalet business in Les Deux Alpes where I lived for 4 years. I then moved back to England to work in Reader Offer Travel, then more recently for another Sports Tours Operator as Operations Manager for their Clubs & Schools department. My work has taken me to some lovely parts of the world including South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand, South America & the Caribbean. Italy though is one of my favourite destinations! In 2014 I took a self-imposed and hard earned 6 month break, then joined LWTL initially to work on Incoming groups for the RWC in 2015. I now work exclusively on the Supporters Tours such as the Lions to New Zealand in 2017, Six Nations weekends in Paris and Rome, cricket tours to the West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa & the Ashes and summer rugby tours for England and Wales. I have played Tennis since I was 4 and have skied extensively; I really enjoy watching England play rugby and cricket, but most of all watching my daughter play cricket for first Gloucestershire, then Wales and now Western Storm. And later this summer (2021), London Spirit, in the Hundred.

 

Meet the team craig-1

CRAIG WEGRZYN – SUPPORTERS SALES MANAGER

Prior to joining LWTL I had a somewhat mixed career history starting in International team operations for the Football Association, followed by moving on to supporter tours and events for the Mike Burton Group. In my time there I was involved in all 6 Nations and Autumn International tours and events as well as leading a tour at the 2011 Rugby World Cup to New Zealand. For the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour I managed corporate hospitality events and match day supporter for Lions Rugby Travel. I joined LWTL after a year out in Australia where I took full advantage of the relaxed beach lifestyle in between coaching and playing football. With LWTL I have been involved in all cricket and rugby tours with both the 2017 Lions Tour and the 2017 Ashes Series being a highlight.

 

Meet the team Mike-1

MIKE PYRGOS – SUPPORTERS SALES

I was a teacher for 37 years and taught at Bryanston School in Dorset for the last 30 of those where I was Director of Rugby and Head of Economics as well as being Senior Teacher. Whilst teaching I ran over 30 school tours and I hope I can bring some of that experience to LWTL. I was a tour manager (during a sabatical from school) on the 2013 Lions Toour of Australia and I stayed on afterwards because LWTL had organised an excellent Rugby Tour for my school following the Lions Tour. I work in both the schools and supporters departments at LWTL and am putting my experience of extensive touring to the test in both departments. I played rugby for Harlequins and my son, Henry, is the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland scrum half and he captained Scotland during the 2015 World Cup, my daughter Alice also plays hockey for England. I love all sports and am an ardent Tottenham Hotspur supporter. I am lucky enough to have hosted LWTL’s British & Irish Lions Tours in 2013 and 2017, rugby tours to Italy and Scotland and cricket supporters tours to the West Indies and the Ashes in Australia.

 

Schools Team

Meet the team joanna1-1

JOANNA MOWATT – CLUBS & SCHOOLS OPERATIONS MANAGER

Throughout my career and education to date, sport has always played a major role. I joined Living With The Lions after 8 years’ service with Gullivers Sports Travel within their worldwide schools and clubs department. I have always been involved in sport, enjoying gymnastics and hockey in my early years, which I later put to good use whilst employed as a Lecturer of Sports Science in Gloucestershire. These days, although I am still an avid follower of sport, I am more of a participant of the arts with dance and music being keen interests. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to a number of great destinations during my years in the travel industry, with South Africa, Australia and the Caribbean being some of my favourite destinations. I have also been lucky enough to Tour Lead Supporters Tours overseas which include the British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand 2005 and Cricket World Cup to the West Indies in 2007.

 

Meet the team David-1

DAVID MCLAUGHLIN – CLUB & SCHOOLS TOURS SALES

I’ve always had a real love for sport, from a young age I tried my hand at everything available to me, before finally settling on rugby and becoming a proud member of the Front Row Union. I’m very grateful that being involved in the game has given me the chance travel and see the world, with South Africa and the South of France being my favourite tour destinations. I’ve been lucky enough to turn my passion for sport into a career and enjoyed two years at Chaka Travel working in golf and school tour sales, before joining the team at Living with the Lions as our sales representative in Ireland. From a fan perspective, my sporting highlights would be being in the building to see local boy Carl Frampton beat Scott Quigg, following Northern Ireland at Euro 2016 and being in attendance for the incredible schools’ rugby derby in Paarl, where 25000 spectators get to see the number one and number two ranked schools in South Africa go head to head. From a work standpoint my highlight has undoubtedly been being in New Zealand for the 2017 Lions Tour, and most recently taking in four of the five Ashes Tests and seeing Cook’s 244 in the MCG.

 

Meet the team Carrie-1

CARRIE ROBERTS – SALES & SENIOR TOUR COORDINATOR

I’m a born and bred South African with a passion for travel and sport and have happily carved a 18 year career in the Sports Travel industry. I studied Marketing and Advertising and Business Finance at the University of Natal in South Africa, followed by travel abroad before commencing my career as a Tour Operator. My jobs, having worked at Bundu Bashers Travel in South Africa for ten years, followed by Edwin Doran Sports Tours for three years and LWTL for five years, have allowed me to combine my interests and I have been fortunate enough to travel around the world, exploring countries such as Australia, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and the USA. I love all sports (I play most racquet sports and have completed 2 Half Marathons) and supporting rugby and cricket are definitely high on the list. I am based in Ely, Cambridgeshire – where I represent LWTL in the East Anglia region in both Sales and Operations.

 

Meet the team robdickson3

ROB DICKSON – CLUB & SCHOOLS TOURS SALES

Born in Lancashire but raised in Gloucestershire, sport has been a huge part of my life to date. The travel bug then started in 2005 when I decided last minute to follow the British Lions tour to New Zealand. It was an incredible experience and something I was keen to repeat. I completed my degree and was then committed to seeing more of the world. After saving for 12 months which involved a 12 hour shift working alone on Christmas day, I left the UK in Sept 2007 on a flight bound for New York. I worked my way across the states to LA, onto Fiji, New Zealand and then onto Australia where I saw in the New Year and eventually stayed for 6 months, working in both Sydney and Perth. I then made the long journey home via Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. On my return I started work for PGL travel which was great fun but my heart was set on sports travel. After 4 years, I joined Gullivers Sports Travel and have had the opportunity to experience some once in a lifetime events such as New Year in Cape Town with the Barmy Army to a World Cup Football Semi Final in Moscow. I have been extremely fortunate to have experienced some amazing destinations and cultures and I now enjoy sharing my experiences with groups looking to take their team overseas. What attracted me to Living With The Lions is the personal approach and attention to detail they provide that is missing in a large corporate business. There is not a high turnover of staff so our customers know exactly what they are getting and really buy into the LWTL family ethos..

 

Marketing Department

Meet the team brett1-1

BRETT LINGLEY – MARKETING MANAGER

Having grown up in Durban, South Africa I am a massive Natal Sharks rugby supporter and have adopted Bath as my UK side since we started doing their supporters tours in 2004. I love all sports and have competed at a provincial level for bodyboarding, swimming and tennis. I have a passion for travel and since joining LWTL in 2003 have been fortunate enough to host tours to New Zealand, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, France, Ireland and Italy with my favourite cities being Sydney, Cape Town and Treviso. The highlight of my career was the 1st test between South Africa & The British Lions in Durban in June 2009, sitting amongst so many Lions supporters was just totally surreal…

 

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