Meet the Team – Ian Hawes!

We are so pleased to welcome to the Palms Team our new Club Manager, Ian Hawes. Ian joins us with a gym background, plus a wealth of management experience from a wide range of sectors, and has already been a part of the Potters team for nearly 6 years. We caught up with Ian during his first few weeks with us, to find out more about him, and ask him about his plans for Palms…

So Ian, tell us a little bit about yourself…
Well, some of the members may already recognise me from around Resort. I’ve been working for Potters as the Bars Operations Manager, as well as providing Duty Manager Cover for the Resort. I’ve actually had an interest in Fitness for a long time. In 2002 I qualified as a Level 2 Gym instructor, delivering gym programmes and circuit training classes for a club called Alpine Health Club in March, near Cambridge. While I was there I studied Anatomy & Physiology, and was intrigued by the whole fitness industry.
A few months down the line I decided to pack my bags and move to Spain in pursuit of some sun. Whilst I was there I worked in various jobs including cooking, baking and bar work. I eventually came back to the UK, working as a Store Manager for Blockbuster, before joining the Potters Bar Team.

Wow! You’ve worked in a real variety of jobs. What made you decide to leave bars and join the Palms team?
To be honest, as much as I enjoyed my time working in bars I was keen to get back into the fitness industry. I will definitely miss the fast pace of working in the bars though. The buzz on a busy weekend can be really motivating, and the team made it good fun. But I won’t miss the late nights!
I was excited to take the opportunity to join Palms, because I think Palms is a good Club to be in, and there are already so many really positive things happening here. We have lots of great additional facilities such as the squash and badminton courts available, which I think sets us apart from other clubs. The staff strive to deliver a personable experience for the members, which is something I believe strongly in. However, I think there’s still plenty of untapped potential.
Untapped potential hey? So we can expect to see a few changes over the coming months?
It’s not so much about making big changes, as Palms already works so well as a club. It’s more about maximising what we can offer.
First of all I’ll be spending time getting to know our members. We recently ran a member survey, so I have lots of feedback to look through and try to implement, which is a great place to start. It’s something we’ll be doing regularly, to make sure we know what our members want to see within their club.
The team have been building a real community feel I really want us to embrace and develop that. We’ll be putting our focus on our members, increasing the benefits available and introducing some fun activities and social events.
We recently updated our class timetable, and brought Zumba back to our programme. This has been very popular, and going forward we’ll definitely continue to evaluate the classes and work together with our team of instructors to ensure we are offering a varied selection that caters to all of our customers.
We have already begun working on some exciting projects within Palms, we’ll keep our members up to date with everything that’s happening here at Palms in our monthly newsletter so keep your eyes peeled!
It sounds like you are going to be very busy! What do you like to do to unwind after a busy day here at Palms?  
Since I came over to Palms I’ve been focusing more on my own fitness too, so when I’m not at work I’m often in the gym or at home doing an Insanity workout. It’s really tough but it’s done wonders for my fitness levels. When I’m not exercising, my wife Karen and I are often out with our dogs. Arya and Jax (I’m a bit of a boxset fan, so named them after some of my favourite characters) are quite big dogs, a husky and a Labrador, so like a long run on the beach.
It’s been great to meet you Ian, and find out about your plans for Palms. What if one of our members wants to speak to you directly?
I’m in the club five days a week, so I’m sure most of the members will get to meet me in person over the coming weeks. Please do come and say hi! If there’s something specific a member would like to speak to me about then I can be reached by email at