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OV

29 March

Successful OVs reaching for the stars

Fuelling up for success

Last Friday saw the annual Kings vs RGS SuperBall netball match. Both teams played incredibly well and we were delighted that King’s secured a very well deserved win after a high paced and competitive game. Many OVs enjoyed watching King’s come away victorious at The Worcester Arena, and amongst them were OVs from the 2016/2017 1st XV Rugby team. James Smalley (Br 10-17), Alfie Pritchard (S 10-17), Henry Martyn-Smith (S10-17), Dion King (Cr 12-17), Matt Kemp (Cl 10-17), Charlie Wong (Cl 10-17), Archie Conner (Os 10-17) and Dylan Moss (Os 10-16) met their former King’s Rugby coaches Jonny Mason, Gilly and Chris Wilson, along with members of the current 1st XV, for a meal in Nando’s before going on to watch the SuperBall.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the OVs who are all now studying, working and traveling in different corners of the country to reunite and catch up on recent news whilst sharing memories of their time playing together at King’s. Fun was had by all, and watching King’s play so fantastically was the icing on the cake for the OVs who had all been such active members of the school sporting community!

On a mission to Mars

We were delighted to spot OV Sqn Ldr Bonnie Posselt (Cr 98-03) on the BBC News at Six on March 28th talking about her role as a Space Doctor. She has been part of a project in Oman where they were simulating a Martian mission and her job was to provide medical care for all the team and to monitor the astronauts during simulated space walks. You can have a listen to her on BBC i-Player here  from 25 mins into the programme. 

 

 

 

 

Over the moon with award

We were so impressed to hear that marketing agency, Space, co-founded by OV David Atkinson (W 79-86) has just won the Marketing Agencies Association award for the ‘Best International Campaign 2018’, this being the second consecutive year of winning this particular award. Space is based in London but works with clients around the world including William Grant & Sons (Glenfiddich – who the award for 2017 was for – Monkey Shoulder and Drambuie), General Mills (Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Fibre One, Green Giant etc), Heineken (lagers, ciders, ales etc), Wimbledon (the Championships), UEFA, Arla Foods (Cravendale, milks, yoghurts), Highland Spring, Sky etc. 

David is managing partner and co-owner of the agency which started in 2003.  Their awards to date include four ‘Best in the World’ Awards for three different campaigns, and many European and UK awards.  Space currently employs around 50 people, with a turnover of £8m.  We were also thrilled to hear that, in 2014, OV Vicky Longster (Bright, 08-14) joined Space to work as part of David’s team.

Congratulation to David, Vicky and the rest of the Space team on this amazing achievement!

LAUNCHING YOUR DREAMS

We always love to have OV reports and this week we have a gem from OV Howard Stanton (S 84-91) who is talking about his exciting journey to follow his dreams…

"After leaving King’s in 1991 I worked to save for a backpacking trip around the world and loved it , the travel bug had set in and I continued on my travels working as I went as a diving instructor , Hotel recreation Manager and numerous other positions in the hospitality industry , having some great adventures as I went. I loved traveling around Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and working in the British Virgin islands for seven years. I had fallen in love with Sabah, East Malaysia on the island of Borneo and when a job opportunity arose to manage a brand new five star hotel, 2007, I jumped at it.

It was obvious from the very start that the hotel was not going to work out, no fault of mine, but I could see that the quiet Northern area of Sabah, Kudat, where the hotel was based had a ton of potential and I saw an opportunity to do something for myself. I let it be known that I would like to buy a piece of land but options were limited due to the lack of capital. I was shown beachfront land but all was too expensive for my meagre savings , eventually I was shown a 6.5 acre piece of land that fitted into my budget and I went for it , passing over every single penny I had to purchase it . No one had been on the land for 17 years and it was a mash of jungle, swamp, thorns and general nastiness. There was no water or electricity and was dissected by a single track dirt road. The resort I had come here to set up went bankrupt and as such I was without a job and income but still had my piece of land so I started to work on it, clearing and planning as I went. With not enough money to start anything on the land I spent a year and a half teaching jungle survival courses, refereeing an Indian sport Kabaddi, as an International referee and helped to build the Sun Bear conservation centre in Sepilok, Sandakan, eventually putting enough money together to get started. I had wrote a business plan, four friends believed in me and I started with (GBP) 40,000 taking every ounce of energy and knowledge that I had picked up along the way.

I set up a Malaysian company in September 2011 and we started to clear the land in October 2011, simple construction started in January 2011. I had a plan and a vision of what I wanted and worked my backside off to make it come to fruition. We opened a traditional Rungus Long House in May 2011. Having already dealt with student groups such as World Challenge and Outlook expeditions , looking after their groups in Borneo when they came here I used these contacts and encouraged them to head our way , our first “customers” were a group from World Challenge . By the end of this summer (2018) we shall have had 139 different groups through our “doors”, with each of them undertaking a community project for the local community, so I am sure that you can imagine the amount of work we have been able to do for this great community.

The ethos of the company is to only employ local people (we now employ 20 local Rungus tribe people) and to make sure that everything we did gave back to the local people and the environment. It has been a fine balance of being able to create a business that survives and thrives generating enough capital that we can also keep growing and that we have !! We now have three styles of accommodation – private chalets, Long House backpackers and traditional little huts , with enough beds for 105 people to come and stay with us , a beach side restaurant at the Tip of Borneo, Drift wood workshop and a nature reserve and education centre and I have also just purchased three other pieces of land to help us to expand into the “higher end” luxury villa market and our jungle survival / jungle rehabilitation side with other plans we are also working on too .

Recently we were awarded the “Guest House of the year award, Sabah” by the travel and hospitality industry awards and have been a winner of the Trip advisor excellence award for the six out of the seven years we have been running.

I still look back very, fondly on my time at King’s and  I have been back a few times and met some older faces , I still stand by my belief that King’s set me up for all that I had to encounter whilst perusing my dream , I reckon that this dream was hatched in one of Mr Gill’s geography lessons.

I was never the best academic student at Kings’s , far from it, but the roundedness of education, ethics and morals that it gave me set me up for what I am doing now . I would encourage any of the students reading this to follow your dreams, work hard and stick at it until you get there, because you will if your desire is strong enough.

You can have a look at what I have been up too on our web site : www.tampatdoaman.com.my .

If there are any current /past students that are thinking about traveling and Borneo is one of your stops, we would love to see you, we run a volunteers program that you might be interested in and I can offer you a 50% discount on the accommodation price if you can mimic the cathedral bells striking 2pm.

With best wishes to you all, Howard"