Richard Thomas is a businessman and outdoor sport/activity enthusiast.
“I joined King’s Ely Acremont in 1988 and I didn’t leave King’s until 2000, on completing my A Levels.
“I studied Sports Science at the University of Chichester, after which I moved to Canada to work at a Ski Instructor Training School. In 2009, I co-founded a sporting events company with my wife and an American partner. This grew to a point where we held sporting events in 42 countries, with over one million participants a year. We diversified into many types of sporting events, including running races, colour runs, obstacle races, triathlons, zombie events and adventure races. The company went through hyper-growth in the first three years and after ten years of trading, it has an annual turnover of 200 million dollars, with 500 employees.
“In 2016, we bought Hockwold Hall, a former Royal residence located 15 miles from Ely. The property was owned by Charles II in 1661. In 1861, it was the residence of Prince Victor, godson of Queen Victoria, and the son of the last Maharajah of the Sikh Empire with his brother, Prince Frederick. From 1933 until 1978, Sir Harry Peat lived at Hockwold Hall – he was a founding member of KPMG and the P in the acronym. I now live at Hockwold Hall and we host public events including weddings, Christmas fayres, outdoor cinemas and corporate events.
“During my time at King’s, I was a keen member of the Ely Scheme and attended as many trips as possible. The passion I found for outdoor sports at King’s, including rock climbing, skiing and kayaking will stay with me for life. Having attended many instructor courses in outdoor sports since leaving school, it has given me an appreciation of the quality and level of tuition I achieved whilst at King’s. I also studied Design and Technology up to A Level – the practical skills acquired have been invaluable during my lifetime.
“King’s is a fantastic environment for any student to flourish and to pursue their passions in any subject. The extra-curricular activities on offer are second to none.”