Paul - Sports Development Manager
Tell us a little bit about yourself – Your work background, your interests…
I am originally from Stratford upon Avon and have always had a keen interest in sport and physical activity, I therefore consider myself lucky to have been able to develop a career in a field that I love and am very passionate about.
I have worked in Wiltshire as Sports Development Manager for 5 years having previously held similar roles in Stratford and Northamptonshire and was also fortunate enough to work at the London 2012 Olympic Games and at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
In my spare time I love watching and playing sport and also like to travel as much as possible. Two weeks ago I was climbing Mayan ruins and spotting Jaguars in the Mexican jungle!
What's the best thing about working at Wiltshire Council, and your job specifically?
The best thing about working for Wiltshire Council is the understanding the authority has of the contribution sport, physical activity and leisure can make to the health agenda. Leisure Services now forms part of the wider Public Health team which allows closer working with colleagues in health to ensure programmes engage key audiences and deliver relevant outcomes.
Wiltshire Council are also a very forward thinking organisation who have embraced new technology and flexible working in order to create efficiencies while also investing in facilities including office spaces and health and wellbeing centres to ensure staff have the best environment in which to thrive.
The best thing about my role is working with enthusiastic staff to encourage audiences who face barriers to sports participation develop active lifestyles. This includes working with disability groups, individuals from communities that have high levels of deprivation and older people. It is incredibly rewarding seeing an individual develop an enjoyment of sport or make a behavioural change which long term you know will also be of benefit to their personal health and wellbeing.
What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?
While I was in Mexico I drank a shot called Mezcal which is accompanied with sliced oranges sprinkled with a mixture of ground fried larvae, ground chili peppers and salt! Definitely worse than Tequila!
What is your favourite book or film, and why?
My favourite film is Pulp Fiction largely because it doesn’t matter how many times I watch it I never get bored and always spot something that I haven’t noticed previously. Pulp Fiction would be closely followed by Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and Star Wars which probably allows you to guess the era I grew up in!
What is your ideal holiday destination?
I’m not sure if they are my ideal holiday destination but I’m very keen to visit Iceland and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Do you have any pets?
I have a rescue dog call Ernie (Ernest Rascal to give him his full name!), who I got from the Dogs Trust in Salisbury 3 years ago. He is a real character who loves long walks, swimming and going nuts with his toys.