Meet the team

Alister Strahan, Managing Director, VenatourAlister Strahan - Managing Director
Having been involved in the Sports Travel business for nearly 15 years, I have been very fortunate to have travelled around the world, meet some incredible people and to have attended some real ‘bucket-list’ events. I love my sport, notably rugby, cricket and golf and to be able to combine that with a passion for travel is a real treat.
What really makes the job special is meeting people you would never otherwise meet. Like minded sports fanatics travelling the world together is very special and whether it’s a short trip across to Dublin or a long Lions tour Down Under, friendships are forged that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Having started playing a lot of rugby in London at school and Richmond RFC, things carried on for a short while in the West Country before I came to my senses and took up armchair rugby. I still have time to get out on the golf course although not nearly as much as I would like and each summer I can indulge my love of cricket.
One destination still missing from my CV is South America. Having only had a flying visit there, I’d love to watch rugby in the depths of Argentina and maybe, the Lions will stop off there on their way to or from the southern hemisphere!!

Rob Langley, Business Development Manager, Venatour

Rob Langley - Business Development Manager 
Having worked for a large sports travel company for 6 years in the schools and clubs division, I decided to make the break away to work with Cooch as I saw such potential in Venatour.
I am privileged to be working in a job I love. Rugby, cricket and golf play a big part in my life, whether playing or supporting and to be able to have a job in which I can enjoy these sports whilst I work is something I am very grateful for.
Large companies can sometimes lose sight of the core values that make the real difference to supporters and clients, so it is our mission here at Venatour to offer the high quality, personal service to produce real, authentic tour packages that live long in the memory for all our clients.

Hazel Cabena, Operations Manager, Venatour

Hazel Cabena - Operations Manager
I have always had a love for travelling and exploring new places and I joined Venatour after 9 years with a similar company working in their supporters department.
Having played rugby at university and having worked for a time at Gloucester Rugby Club, I have a strong interest in the game and have enjoyed working on various events during my time in the travel industry, including 4 Rugby World Cup’s and 4 Lions tours. I have also worked on numerous cricket tours and have been fortunate enough to visit many great destinations over the years. My favourites include New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean and Hong Kong.
I am from a sporty family and have played a number of sports at a competitive level, including netball, hockey, rugby and horse riding. My main sport nowadays is rowing and I enjoy being out on the water at Evesham and getting involved at competitions.

Ian Barton, Schools and Groups Manager, Venatour

Ian Barton - Schools and Groups  Manager
I first started playing sport in Africa as a child and it very quickly became a large part of my life. At University I played cricket and rugby; and soon caught the touring bug.
My first job was with Edwin Doran Sports Travel and had a great 23 years there, highlights being meeting my wife and many great friends along the way. With the advent of my own kids, my sporting prowess is now limited to a little 20/20 cricket, bit of golf, tennis, squash and the annual ski trip. I have also been lucky enough to give a little back and I was lead coach for Teddington RFC Minis for 7 years and I also umpire hockey at Teddington Hockey Club.
Over the years, I have managed to visit most of the places I sent tours to which places me in a great position to advise any potential tourists on what, where and when to tour. I particularly enjoy making tours special through adding unique cultural and social aspects. Visits to townships, helping with Tsunami Projects, being the first side to tour a destination or head off the beaten track and seeing the look on the faces of youngsters when they visit iconic venues – all bring a warm glow!
Now with Venatour, I am excited about working with like-minded folk and to getting back to my roots, making each tour run smoothly whilst at the same time, be as memorable as possible.

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Lucy Dodds, Sales & Operations Executive, Venatour

Lucy Dodds - Sales & Operations Executive 
Growing up in a cricket mad household was the beginning of my journey into the love of sport. Summers were spent at Gloucester City Cricket Club where I started out playing for the under 13 boy’s side! I later went on to play for a ladies cricket team but now prefer to spectate (especially if watching in the sun).
Being from Gloucester it wasn’t long before I discovered Rugby and over the past couple of years I’ve had the pleasure of operating tours to the Hong Kong Sevens, Lions & 6 Nations, all of which have bought great memories and I truly enjoy the camaraderie a sports tour can bring.
While sport has always been a big part of my life, travel is definitely another. Before joining Venatour I’d spent 5 years sailing around the world on a cruise ship, arranging tours in Australia, South America, the Caribbean and New Zealand to name a few. I’m lucky enough to be able to combine the two and look forward to many more sporting experiences.

Martin Richards, Venatour Wales Manager

Martin Richards - Venatour Wales Manager 
I was born and bred in Cwmavon and enjoyed playing both Rugby and Cricket in the village. I finished playing at a young age due to injury, I went on to become chairman of Central Glamorgan RFC before finishing due to travel commitments. I have always had a passion for sport and when given an opportunity 20 years ago to travel the world looking after likeminded sports fans I grasped the opportunity with open arms.
As a result I have been involved in four Lions tours, four Rugby World Cups, two Ashes tours, two Football World Cups and numerous tours to the Dubai and Hong Kong Sevens and Six Nations weekends. Meeting so many different sports fans and forging so many friendships I feel has given me the understanding of what people want out of a tour, whether it is a two night stay in Rome or a 28 day stay across Australia.
I have been privileged to meet sporting legends and enjoy watching the legends share their experiences with supporters. Sport is a great leveller and I am so lucky to be involved in an industry that allows me to travel the word and feed my passion for the game.