Operations Manager
Virgin Active

info Issues viewing the video?

Daniel B

00:00:03 My name is Daniel, Daniel B. I work for Virgin Active in Cricklewood, and I’m the Operations Manager. The role is so varied, it’s pretty much the manager’s role but just one step down, so it’s very much the day to day running. I need to make sure that the building is fit to open at six thirty in the morning, health and safety-wise nothing is broken within the club, and everyone is going to have a safe workout, and members and staff will be safe while they’re in the club, right through from six thirty in the morning until ten o’clock at night.

00:00:38 I done all my GCSEs and I went to college, but it was always sport that interested me. My brother was a swimmer and I sort of looked up to him and wanted to aspire to him, so I started off swimming when I was seven or eight, worked my way up to… I got to the nationals when I was twenty. That was probably a big honour for me to get that far, and that’s what I think has always put sport in my mind. The training behind swimming, it was two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. The dedication and the sort of achievement you got from it sort of sport was always going to be in the back of my mind to look at as a career, and I think that’s the swimming that did that for me.

00:01:21 I then went to college and did a sports science BTEC and National Diploma for two years, and then from college I left college and went on to university, and did sports and exercise science. While I was there I did a part time job. I needed some money, so I applied for a lifeguard job. I did a lifeguard course and I got a contact straightway from a big health club in Cambridge that was looking for evening lifeguards, so I just worked my way through university, basically using the money I earned as a lifeguard on books, and so on, and socialising, as you do with university life.

00:02:01 My parents never went to university. I think my mum went straight from school into production work, and she lives in Cambridge. She pretty much has been within her company for the last thirty years, I think. And my dad was a sales rep, so he was very much travelling the country. I hardly ever saw him. It was just his job that he did; he was always travelling the country, selling and so on, and he’s just retired as well. Again, both of them had very much the same job for the last twenty/thirty years, never changed job, always had the same job role.

00:02:41 While I was working in Cambridge and at university, I had a relationship with a girl. We’d been together for five years and we broke up. My family are always there. They’ve always said ‘Look, do what you’ve got to do. If you want to work abroad in a different country, go for it. Do what you’ve got to do.’ And I think that was the turning point for me was when I finally broke away from a relationship and was sort of able to think for myself and be my own person, and sort of say ‘Look, whatever I do now, the consequences of whatever happens is my fault, or whatever happens to me later on is always going to be because of me and not because of someone else.’

00:03:19 My dream is to get where I want to be, and where I want to be is probably making myself a success so I can look back and say ‘You know what, I started at the bottom. Now, whether it’s a general manager, or a regional manager, whatever I look to be doing, I would say I’m nearly at my top. I’m nearly there. And anything better is just a plus really. I just want to get there and make a success of everything I do.’

00:03:49 End

Daniel B is the Operations Manager of a Virgin Active health club. He is very sporty – he was a national standard swimmer at twenty. He did sports and exercise science at university, supporting himself with an evening job as a lifeguard.

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.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Sport & recreation 21632
Food & beverage services 6230
Other personal service 4203
Gambling 3771
Film &  music 3686
Accommodation 3473
Membership organisations 3322
Libraries, etc 2982
Office admin. 2803
Arts & entertainment 1832
Employment status

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: