A weekly feature on the lives and loves of people from our city.
My day: I very rarely use an alarm clock as I am usually woken very early – 7am if I’m really lucky – by four hungry cats. If it’s my turn to do the Felix run, I get up, put the kettle on, deliver four gourmet meals and start selecting lesson plans for the week’s classes.
Once I’ve planned my coaching, I check e-mail and any admin or project priorities for both the local and national business. This week we’re planning video filming for use as part of brand partnership with a leading equipment supplier.
After 8.30am, I call our local coaches to make sure they have everything they need for the week and contact franchisees if they’ve raised any talking points.
Mid-morning I unpack the equipment I’ve used for sports parties and events over the weekend and re-pack the car for weekly classes. I depart about noon with a lunch on the go or take a soup to my venue. On the way I often visit the drive-through Starbucks for a good coffee.
On Mondays I deliver six consecutive one-hour classes in Waverton Village Hall and usually arrive about an hour before they start to set up my equipment and organise the room. I run six classes on most days, starting with nursery aged children in the first hour followed by pre-school, then reception, Year 1 and so on. The classes are centred around small groups (no more than 14 children) with the initial ones concentrating on fundamental skills and the latter developing these into our ten core sports (usually rotated on a ten-weekly cycle).
I finish my last class about 7.40pm, pack-up and reach home an hour later. I catch up with my wife, Sharon, who is also my business partner and make any urgent calls. Then it’s a long-awaited hot dinner in front of a good TV drama.
Still in front of the TV, it’s social media time and a fuller review of the day’s business activities. For a word-of-mouth business like A-Star Sports, social media is really important. I check on our local and national Facebook pages, scroll through Twitter, LinkedIn and a few others and then it’s dealing with e-mails that have arrived during the coaching day. Finally, as an analytics geek, I can’t resist a nightly review of our website analytics.
About midnight, it’s time to see if the four cats have left room in the bed for one more…
Dress: I wear branded sportswear – I am the guy you see wearing shorts 365 days a year.
What is the favourite part of your job? It’s always rewarding when doing Year 6 classes, as so many of them have been coming to classes with me since they were two or three years old.
What is your least favourite part of your job? So many chairs, pianos and tables need moving in community venues before they’re suitable for sport.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? I have to say that in most people’s eyes I’ve been pretty lucky – running my own sports business now after having spent nearly ten years working for the LEGO company. Next stop Cadbury’s.
How do you relax when you are not working? I love reading and good television/movies and watching live sport since I no longer play. I witnessed lots of London 2012 live and the Euro dodgeball champs in Chester last summer (where A-Star Sports kids acted as ball boys and girls and gave demonstration games).
What is your favourite film? Lord of the Rings trilogy extended versions.
What is your favourite book? I’m a total bibliophile, so there’s just too many to choose from – around 3,000 in our collection at home.
What is your favourite song? Mood dependant, but still miss singing anything by Sir Tom Jones at a packed Arms Park.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn). My wife loved the character in the books and Viggo lived up to it in the films.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame? I would like to think not – lots of snippets, though. Who knows? One of the children once said to a parent that I should be on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ as I would be great at the challenges (I didn’t point out I would be woeful at the eating ones!).
Name: Gary Bassett
Job: Sports coach for Cheshire West & Chester’s Sport Cheshire, owner & coach of A-Star Sports, Chester, managing director and co-founder of A-Star Sports Ltd – national franchising.
Lives now: Welsh border.
Education: Howard Grammar/High, Kent, University of Wales, Bangor.
Family life: Married, no children.
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Last week's Day in the Life: Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer.