Operations Manager
David Lloyd Fitness

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Dan H

00:00:03 Hi, my name’s Dan H. I’m Operations Manager at David Lloyd Dartford. An Operations Manager’s day to day responsibility is to make sure that the Club is looking at its very best, and making sure that the Members’ experience is one of enjoyment and one of relaxation. Dartford has got a number of thousand members, and that day to day interaction of meeting new people, continue to build rapports with existing members, is a challenge that I look forward to and enjoy. I say to colleagues and friends that aren’t in the industry I’m, you know, I’m very lucky that every day I look – pretty much every day I look forward to work. So I haven’t had any desire to look at another industry or elsewhere.

00:00:44 When I was at school I was relatively focused I would say, but I was always looking to get into the working world. Got A-Levels in History, English and Economics. But rather than go to University I started working at David Lloyd, a part time job, when I was 17, some 13 years ago now, and then through moving to different locations I’ve slowly moved up the ladder, as it were.

00:01:11 I remember the first couple of months, or first six months, being quite daunting. But the key for me was just to continue, get stronger, and soon as I felt comfortable, I think in my heart of hearts I knew that I wouldn’t change my career. I knew there would be some longevity in it and, touch wood, so far so good.

00:01:30 I think some of my teachers from school would be absolutely gob-smacked, because my behaviour was not great. I had a number of spells at school where I got in quite a lot of trouble. So I think those teachers would look now quite surprised. And I have run into teachers, there’s been a number of partnerships that I’ve done through my – through my time with the company, and in the main they’ve been pleased. And some of them, yeah, very surprised.

00:01:56 The biggest turning point was – I moved to Ipswich, to become Assistant Manager at a site in Ipswich, and that was the first time where I’d moved away from London, didn’t know anyone there. The first few months I found quite tough, and on a number of occasions I nearly thought -actually I think I’ll quit. I think knowing that I could get through those perhaps quite lonely times made me quite strong. And sometimes if I am having a bad time, I look back on that period and think – well it’s not as bad as it was then. So probably that’s made me quite strong.

00:02:30 I play a lot of sport. I play golf, I play tennis, I play football. My passion for playing pool is basically that once a week on a Tuesday evening I play for a local pub team where nearly – a number of my friends all play for the same team. And it’s the one night where we all know we’re going to meet. We all let our partners or our girlfriends know that it’s our one night together for all the chaps. Usually we watch the football and play pool. We play against other pool teams within the Dartford area.

00:03:00 Aspirationally career-wise I’d like to become a General Manager, I’ve held sort of General Manager positions on an interim basis, where I’ve overseen the Clubs on two occasions. Personally at some point I think I’d like to go travelling. A lot of my friends have been travelling and seen the world, and that’s not something that so far I’ve – I’ve achieved, and I think longer term perhaps I would like to do that. I think after I attain the General Manager position, once I’ve got that and it’s on the CV, then I think I’d look to do some travelling.

00:03:33 There was a gentleman that I worked with very closely for five years, I was his Assistant General Manager to him, and I think he inspired me in his outlook and his enthusiastic approach. And also in his business acumen. I think I learnt many traits off him, and if I look back over my career I thank – I thank him for the time he invested in me.

00:03:53 I don’t have any regrets in terms of the path that I’ve taken. I sometimes think that if I’d gone to University, would things have worked out differently for me? When I look back, I had a number of promotions in a very short space of time, through hard work, and they allay the fears perhaps that I could have achieved more if I’d gone to University.

00:04:14 ENDS


Dan has responsibilty for the smooth running of a health club. He didn’t enjoy school and was pleased to get a job which he loves. He has achieved his full potential without a university education and looks forward to being a General Manager within the company.

More information about Leisure and sports managers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

43%  male 
57%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Leisure and sports managers organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities and resources required for the provision of sporting, artistic, theatrical and other recreational and amenity services.
Both graduate and non-graduate entry is possible. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. NVQs/SVQs in relevant areas are available at Levels 3 and 4. Professional qualifications may also be required for some posts.
  • Organises timetable of activities/schedule of programmes;
  • Ensures that facilities are kept clean and in good condition and that appropriate health and safety requirements are adhered to;
  • Keeps abreast of new trends and developments in recreational activities and arranges exhibitions, theatrical productions, concerts, demonstrations etc.;
  • Advises on the facilities available and promotes publicity in relation to shows, games, races, new theme parks, etc.;
  • Determines financial, staffing, material and other short- and long-term needs;
  • Recruits, supervises and trains staff;
  • Ensures custody of all cash receipts and organises regular stock checks.
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