This month, we talk to Andy Smith, our partner in Weston Super Mare, about his remarkable journey to Leisure Leagues.
Back in the 1980s there was an advertising campaign for Remington shavers. It featured the owner of the firm on the screen saying that he “liked the company so much I bought it.”
Late last year, we saw the (near) Leisure Leagues equivalent, when Andy Smith became our partner in Weston Super Mare.
Andy had started as a referee, when he arrived back in the country via a spell in New Zealand, and fittingly for what became a whirlwind journey from whistle blower to partner, it all began just as quickly.
“I fancied some refereeing, I’d done some before, and I thought it would be a fun way to earn some extra cash,” recalls Andy when we spoke to him at Head Office when he came for training. “So I put my form over and four minutes later I’d had a call from the Area Manager asking me to go to Worle School for my induction.”
It was here that Andy first showed his steel. “Yes, I guess you could say that,” he laughs. “I sent someone off in my induction game!”
But then, Andy has always had a clear idea of what he wanted. Leaving home at 16 to make his own way in the world, he took in a varied route that included working on cruise ships and living down under. “Yes, I suppose I’ve always been that way,” admits Andy. “My dad always said I was the type that would have wrestled killer whales if I put my mind to it.”
And he’s put that ambitious streak to work in Leisure Leagues. Since he took over the franchise for Weston Super Mare – which he works on with his wife Melissa – he has consolidated the competitions, but will not be stopping there. “We plan to expand,” he states firmly – and very much in a way that suggests he means it. “We want to double the teams we have. There are lots of astroturfs in the town so we can take advantage.”
Not that they will be stopping there, if Andy has anything to do with it. “Absolutely not!” he says. “There are other areas, new areas, places where we can take the brand. We won’t be stopping. My motto has always been to get out there and do it, and we will.”
The rise in Weston has been a real family affair too. Not just Andy and Melissa, but their pets too. One of the key drivers for Smith’s grand plan has been to engage with teams on social media – and for that he has roped in the services of his pets – as this hilarious video shows.
If you came tame the Beast From The East, then anything else is easy. One thing is for sure, you had probably never to bet against Andy Smith once he’s decided to do something.
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