This week’s Meet the Team features our new Brand Ambassador Gavin Hastings OBE. For those of you who don’t know, Gavin is a former Scottish rugby union player and recognised as one of the outstanding players of his generation winning 61 caps for Scotland, 20 of which as Captain. Gavin played for Watsonians, London Scottish, Cambridge University, Scotland and the British Lions with whom he toured twice, to Australia in 1989 and then four years later in 1993 as captain he led the Lions down to New Zealand to take on the All Blacks.
So, Gavin firstly welcome to the Shore Group.
We are all keen to learn how did this come about?
I have known Chris Ransom for some time, we met as parents watching our sons play rugby together, and have been good friends ever since. During Cheltenham week Chris told me he had joined TSG to assist the management team grow the company’s business footprint in Scotland, North Wales and the North and Midlands. He spoke passionately about the directors, TSG team and what they had achieved since the company was founded in 2008. Chris told me that Shawsey was a TSG Ambassador and said he thought that I could add value to TSG’s and his business development plans and introduced me to Lewis
What attracted you to TSG?
Chris’s enthusiasm for the company, its achievements, the high regard he had for the directors and their plans for the future. Everywhere I’ve played rugby, both home and abroad the sport has always had a strong construction industry influence. That influence for me has come on the field of play, in the stands, in the boardrooms and in the array of hospitality clients, guests and sponsors I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years. I first met Ray O’Rourke on the Lions tour to New Zealand in 1993 and a very good friend of mine Ian Kilpatrick founded the Construction Training business Geason with his brother which they sold last year to Speedy. Glasgow Warriors who my son Adam plays for have Mackenzie Construction as one of their lead sponsors, so with connections like those around me helping Lewis, James and the TSG team seemed a natural and a logical fit I am delighted to have joined the TSG team.
Where do you think you can add value to the group?
From speaking with Lewis and Chris I can see how the company is evolving and feel I can help with connections both North and South of the Scottish border, in both blue and white-collar.
What was the highlight of your career?
Undoubtedly captaining the Lions on their tour to New Zealand in 1993. A huge personal honour for me and for any British or Irish rugby player, New Zealand is without doubt the hardest country in the world to tour, and to come within a hair’s breadth of winning the Test Series was as close as it get
When did you stop playing Rugby?
I retired after the RWC in SA in 1995 having played 10 seasons on International Rugby. I had won more caps than any Scottish player on my retirement and scored more points than any Scotsman at that time. All you are doing is raising the bar for someone else to break records.
How have you filled the rugby void since you stopped playing?
Given that I played amateur rugby my whole life I have always worked and I set myself up in business upon my retirement as a sports marketing consultant. We helped bring the Ryder Cup to Scotland in 2014 which was probably the highlight of our company. I have been self employed for the last 10 years or so working with various companies in an Ambassadorial role.
I have heard you enjoy your golf?
I love golf and have been lucky enough to play many brilliant courses with many well known pros.
What are your future goals and ambitions?
To keep healthy and happy and enjoy seeing my two kids being successful in what they choose to do
What is your fondest rugby memory?
Winning in Paris in 1995 after scoring a last gap try – the party went on for a fortnight
What’s it like watching your son Adam following in your footsteps in what is now a much changed professional sport to the one you played in?
I’m happy that his hard work and commitment is showing dividends. Being a professional athlete is so different to an amateur one and many more sacrifices have to be made in order to reach the top. But he still has a long way to go and you can never become complacent otherwise someone will take your place.