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Mentor Programme

Mentor Programme

Who are we?

Mike Hill

Mike Hill has worked in the leisure industry for over 25 years and has held senior management experience in health and fitness, ice rinks, pools and food and beverage.

After graduating from Loughborough University with a Honours Degree in Leisure Management, Mike spent 15 years gaining management experience in many sectors of the leisure industry. He then set up Leisure-net Solutions in 1999 having seen the need for the industry to improve its market intelligence, and its understanding of the needs and desires of its customers.

As Managing Director of Leisure-net the company has now become the industry’s leading Customer Insight and Market Intelligence Specialists, delivering quality research in areas such as:

  • Non user research and analysis
  • Understanding and measuring customer experience and satisfaction
  • Mystery shops, calls and emails

Mike is a certified NPS practitioner and Leisure-net is also one of only 4 consultancies in the UK licensed to advise organisations on the introduction and deployment of Net Promoter Score.

In 2016 Mike set up

Combining his love of pizzas with his passion for plant based eating, One Planet Pizza was the UKs first frozen vegan pizza company. Over the last 4 years, together with is business partner and son Joe, Mike has grown One Plant Pizza exponentially until it produces over 4,000 pizzas a week and is stocked in over 450 outlets across Europe, as well as being listed on Ocado.

David Monkhouse

Has worked in the industry since 1985 in many roles such as lifeguard, head pool attendant, duty manager, assistant manager, manager and group manager for the private sector, Local Authorities and leisure management contractors.            

His last employed role was with a leisure contractor, taking responsibility for quality, health and safety, human resources and training and development for 60 centres and 3000 employees.

He merged his consulting business of 6 years with Leisure-net Solutions in April 2014. Leisure-net now works with Sport England delivering the National benchmarking Service, County Sports Partnerships, ukactive, Quest, Universities, leisure contractors, Trusts and Local Authorities. Leisure-net delivers customer insight, research, change management, training and development and active-net to the Sport and Physical Activity sector.

David specialises in assisting organisations, to understand that how through an excellent customer experience they can generate referrals, retain customers for longer and enhance the team experience.

His operational and strategic support experience also enables David to play a check, challenge and change role within organisations, in particular working with Loughborough and Warwick Universities.

David’s qualifications include an MBA in International Sports Management from Loughborough University, a national Examination Board Occupational Safety and Health Certificate and a Preparing To Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector qualification. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) a member elected Trustee of CIMSPA and chairs the CIMSPA Audit and Probity Committee.

What can we do?

Using our insight from Net Promoter Score, National Benchmarking Service, research, experience management data and 70 years in business to enhance and improve you and your business. 

Mentoring will be carried out virtually using Teams, Zoom, GoTo meeting software or a good old fashioned telephone call.

Aspiring managers – £50 an hour

Managers, wanting to be better £75 an hour

Senior Managers wanting to check, challenge and stretch £100 per hour

Start ups and entrepreneur £100 per hour


Fraser Ford – Saints Community Champion (Bitterne Park School)

David and I started working together whilst I was on the CIMSPA Youth Panel, where he is a Trustee. I was still a student at the time, but from our first mentor session David filled me with confidence that I had what it takes to enter the industry in a full time capacity and have little to be worried about. Regular discussions between us have encouraged me to be ambitious with my decision making, resulting in me currently working on my own Podcast. David encouraged me to start my own Podcast a few months ago, despite me thinking this would not generate any interest. He then encouraged me to go for a more ambitious target audience than I was originally planning for, and helped me work out ways in which I can use my links within the industry to generate more interest in my Podcast. This has in turn taught me to think strategically when it comes to being ambitious, something I will utilise for the rest of my career. 

Furthermore, his wealth of experience has been invaluable when it comes to me thinking about my further career, where I aspire to enter management. David has always given me to tools to make my own decisions, rather than telling me what he thinks, which I believe is the mark of a great mentor.

Overall, I have been hugely inspired through the mentoring I have had with David and believe the guidance I have received from our mentoring sessions has been influential in the way my career as developed so far. He has been a great mentor to me, and I am excited for anyone else who is lucky enough to have him as a mentor.

Kevin Lane – Active Nation – Wellbeing Director

Asking a friend to be your mentor can be risky. Will the mentor be honest enough, too sensitive to feelings, too concerned about the relationship to challenge you?

I asked David to be my mentor because I knew he had the integrity to avoid those pitfalls, and having been work colleagues for many years he understands my contextual situation very well. Sometimes it’s just a chat and sometimes it’s a focus on key questions and issues. Sometimes it makes you realise where you’ve not been true to yourself and sometimes it reinforces and praises what you have achieved – objectively and independently.

Critically, I’ve found Dave/David to be an active listener, who uses the information to challenge, clarify, and ultimately stimulate me to provide the answers. It’s structured enough but not rigid, and allows me to share problems/issues in a non-threatening environment (it’s usually combined with some form of physical activity and exercise) supported by confidentiality and empathy.

The outputs are usually limited, but the outcomes are frequently an increased sense of self-worth, enhanced confidence in what I’m achieving and an all-round positive feeling. Combining physical activity, mental welfare and social interaction does the world of good to my overall wellbeing and whilst difficult to evaluate, I just know it helps.

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