We have more activities at Haven than you can shake a paddle at but who decides what stays a float and what gets on their bike? Allow us to introduce you to Haven’s very own Action Man…Gordon is the man who is responsible for all of our sports and leisure activities, as well as all our entertainments and Nature Rockz. He’s a very busy man but he managed to squeeze us in so we could ask him a few questions…
How long have you worked for Haven/Bourne leisure?
I have been employed by Bourne Leisure since October 2011, I was employed to develop the Leisure product with a focus on the outdoors. In 2012 I became more focused on the actual standard of the operation and looked at ways to improve the offering and the delivery. Earlier this year I was appointed to align the activity offering across Entertainments, Nature Rocks and Leisure. I work with some great people which I really look forward to working with them to shape the future of our activity offering.
What did you do before joining the company?
I worked for a Children’s Adventure Holiday company called PGL, I was responsible for 3rd party contracts which meant that I used to work with other holiday companies to develop their leisure offering to fit their leisure strategy.
Have you always been interested in sports and leisure?
Yes, I played and competed in various sports, in my early years I loved athletics, cross country, soccer as I developed I became a keen rugby player. My professional life exposed me to adventure sports and the great outdoors so more latterly I have been enjoying trekking, white water rafting, high ropes, jet skiing. I also like the odd game of tennis, although I am no Andy Murray as Kevin Scott (Head of Arcades) will verify.
How have the activities developed for 2014?
We have recognised the need to focus on families spending time in the outdoors, we have focused on outdoor activities such as paddle boarding, canoeing, pool kayaking, aerial adventure courses, creative pursuits, improving the standards of our existing facilities, introducing new play parks and a few Sports Ranges allowing activities to occur in all weathers. I have supported Daniel Coward with the introduction of Nature Rocks and Go Outdoors which are proving to be incredibly successful.
What is your personal favourite activity to do when you go and visit the park?
My visits tend to be more functional than recreational however at a recent trip to Devon Cliffs with my family we enjoyed the Swim lessons, Messy Mornings, Mini Archery, the soft play, my wife enjoyed a treatment in the spa and we enjoyed the early evening entertainments programme. We were exhausted by the end of it but cannot wait till we go again.
If you’re more of a laid back person, what activity could you recommend?
I’d definitely do one of the amazing self-led Go Outdoors activities, you can take your time and explore the park at your own leisure and soak up the natural surroundings.
We encourage our holidaymakers to try new things. When was the last time you tried something new?
I have also just had a fly fishing lesson, been deep sea wreck fishing and been bought some golf lessons …. a little more sedate, but no less challenging! On a side note, it is possible to do all these previously mentioned activities on a Haven Park or close to a Haven park.
What exciting developments can we look forward to for 2015?
Well prior to capital being agreed it is always difficult to over-commit, but let’s say we plan to do more ‘entertainment’ outdoors, lots more Nature Rocks, improve the standards and delivery of Sports & Leisure and introduce more outdoor and creative activities. The future looks really exciting.
We encourage our Haven guests to try something new -- and we practice what we preach! We recently visited our Church Farm Park in Sussex and caught up with Danny, the Sports and Leisure manager, and he gives us his top tips on Kayaking!
Watch our video below -- and don’t forget you can subscribe to our Youtube channel for the latest videos from Haven Holidays…
What’s your favourite activity to do when you are staying at one of our Haven Parks? Let us know in the comments below!