Meet the team

 

Managing Director

Patrick 1 - Meet the team

PATRICK ARNOLD – MANAGING DIRECTOR

I play cricket for my village Eynsham in Oxfordshire and hockey for Oxford Hawks (previously Wimbledon) 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 started 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 trips to South Africa and the West Indies I then got to play cricket in South Africa for my club and Croatia and Austria with the MCC. This experience pushed me toward starting Living With The Lions in 2001 and well, 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 10 years and we have three young sports fans, Freddie, Hana and Eve.

 

Schools Team

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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.

 

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STEVE BADHAM – CLUB & SCHOOL TOURS SALES MANAGER

As a child I played every sport that was thrown at me which led to a competent level of club tennis, county rugby honours and a senior semi-pro football career.. those days are now behind me and I am partial to the odd spin class, and run out for the veterans to keep me ticking over! I was born and bred in the rugby mad city of Gloucester. Locally, there are a number of sports travel operators within the county and so it was natural for me to fall in to a role involving sport. I first learnt my trade in 2000 working for the Mike Burton Group (England Rugby Travel) looking after professional team travel such as Gloucester RFC, Worcester RFC, Saracens and Ulster; plus a number of school and club tours. From here I moved up the M5 to Gullivers Sports Travel where I became their Regional Sales Manager within the playing tours department specialising in school, club and military sports tours. I have been at LWTL since 2014 and what attracted me to the business was the personable approach they provide to schools; we do not take on mountains of enquiries but instead put our heart and soul in to ensuring your tour is a success. During the past 18 years, I have been extremely lucky to travel to many fantastic destinations, having accompanied schools & professional teams around the world on their sports tours and completed the Six Nations and British Lions circuits. As Head of School Tour Sales, I now spend a lot of time visiting schools around the UK offering advice on creating memorable tours for their students.

 

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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.

 

robdickson3 - Meet the team

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..

 

 

Supporters Team

Gail - Meet the team

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 which included the Lions to New Zealand in 2017, and going forward events such as Six Nations games, Hong Kong Sevens, the England tour to South Africa and England Cricket Tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies. I have played Tennis since I was 4 and have skied extensively; I really enjoy watching England play Rugby and Cricket, and in the last few years, I have spent endless hours watching my now teenage daughter play hockey for the school and cricket for her school, club, county and Women’s Super League Team – Western Storm.

 

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CRAIG WEGRZYN – SUPPORTERS TOURS

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 3 years ago 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.

 

Mike 1 - Meet the team

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.

 

 

Marketing Department

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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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