Meet the team

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.


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…


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.


I’m a born and bred South African with a passion for travel and sport and have happily carved a thirteen 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, 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 (being a keen squash and tennis player) but as a South African, supporting rugby and cricket are definitely high on the list. I’m slowly appreciating football and even understand the offside rule now! I have recently joined the LWTL team (Jan 2013) and am thoroughly looking forward life in Gloucestershire, having moved from London.


Prior to joining Living With The Lions Sports Travel my career had largely been focused in education as a qualified primary school teacher. Previous to this I spent a couple of years in the travel industry working in both leisure and business travel. Outside of work I am passionate about spending quality time with my two amazing girls…they certainly keep me busy and active with trips out, go ape, cinema visits and much more. When it’s me time I like to socialise with friends with the odd glass of wine dreaming of being on that idyllic beach in the sunshine! I was a member of my local running club but these days I enjoy running for fun. I like to feel that I am paving my own road, learning new things, living fully and taking on new challenges each day both at home and in my career!


Sport has always played a major role in my life and I take a strong interest in all sports. I recently joined LWTL after a year out in Australia where I took advantage of the relaxed beach lifestyle in between coaching and playing football. Prior to this I had a somewhat mixed career history starting in International team operations for the Football Association, then 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. Prior to moving to Australia I managed corporate hospitality events and match day supporter villages for the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour to Hong Kong and Australia for Lions Rugby Travel.


Meet the team gailgibson1 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 Gullivers Sports Travel 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, and have now joined LWTL to work primarily on Incoming groups for RWC 2015 being held this Autumn in England & Wales. I am also involved in Supporters Tours alongside Craig and Lorri. Sport has always featured largely in my life: 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 and county.


Meet the team mikepyrgos4 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..


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