Gôl Centres were the 2020 winners of the Leisure, hospitality and retail business of the year. We caught up with Gwilym to find out more about them.

1.     Why did you enter the Wales Cardiff Business Awards?

Gôl has always been a bit shy in shouting about itself. We have always been confident, but not complacent, about the service and facility provision we give our players and customers but we liked to chat to them about it rather than tell the world. The awards were an opportunity to pipe up and tell others about what we do and why we do it and hopefully gain some recognition for it.

2.     What does winning a Cardiff Business Award mean to your business?

We are, if nothing else, a Cardiff business, fully owned and staffed by Cardiff people. To be recognised by the city’s business awards after a rightfully challenging application and interview process really meant the world to us. The elation felt by the directors and our colleagues, especially when we going through the most challenging time in Gôl’s history, was a real tonic. To win the award for Leisure, Retail and Hospitality Business of the Year – the sector most profoundly damaged by the current crisis – was a real boon and a validation of the work the guys at the centre have done to make Gôl a place where people feel safe playing football even under the current circumstances.

Of course, as well as that flow of warmth we felt after winning the award, in business terms it’s fantastic in terms of our profile in the market we seek to serve.

3.     How do you strive to make a difference in the Cardiff Business market?

Our mission statement is

“Gôl aims to provide affordable and excellent 5 and 7-a-side football facilities so that all generations can enjoy and develop their love of football in a friendly and inclusive environment.”

We feel that this applies equally to the Cardiff Business market as it does to the rest Cardiff society.

We have created business-specific 5-a-side leagues and have grown them to become the biggest of its type in the UK. We are also somewhere where workplaces get together for a post-work runaround, play against clients and network. We are a venue that companies use to host charity events, internal competitions and business sector-specific tournaments.

4.     What are your goals for the next 12 months?

At the moment our number one goal is to reopen and get back to what we do best; serving the City of Cardiff with the best football facilities backed up by top level organisation. When we have been permitted to open we have been gratified by the readiness of people to come back to playing.
In the longer term our aim is to be as agile as possible and adjust to whatever becomes the established way of doing things and to do it better.

5.     What is the biggest lesson you have learned in the past year as a company?

Never take the ability to trade for granted! More importantly, be prepared to adjust your way of doing business but to make sure that you take customers with you.

6.     What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring business owner?

Take every opportunity to speak to your customers. They are often the principal source of ideas and suggestions for helping improve your business.

7.     What did you think of the virtual awards ceremony?

I thought they were excellent considering they circumstances under which you had to operate. Just the right length of time too.


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