Captain Fantastic – Matt Lomas
21 March 2023
Matt Lomas, Captain of the Vikings and HFL Fund Administrator, discusses his career and his passion for rugby, and how HFL supports his work/life balance.
Matt Lomas balances his role as a Fund Administrator at HFL with his passion for rugby and his position as Guernsey St. Jacques Vikings team captain.
Playing sport at a high level requires training and a lot of dedication. Fitness sessions and matches also take up a lot of time, especially during the season, but Matt admits it's a lot easier in Guernsey.
Matt can compare the lifestyle in Guernsey to his previous experiences of playing in the UK. He's been on the island for about five years, having moved over with his girlfriend, who is from Guernsey originally.
He confesses to not knowing much about financial services (or Guernsey!) before he moved here, but now Matt relishes his role in the venture capital team and is loving life on the island.
"It's fascinating," agrees Matt. "I work with a good group of people; a lot of them are into sport as well; in fact, one of the lads I work with, Joe, also plays rugby, which is how I found out about the role."
Matt felt comfortable talking about his commitment to rugby during his interview at HFL, explaining that on the two training evenings, he'd appreciate leaving the office on time. "Of course, work takes priority, and we need to miss training or come in late, the coaches understand, everyone has a day job. It's a balance, but I find the team at HFL understands how important it is to me, and they respect that."
Rugby has really helped Matt settle in Guernsey and has been a gateway into a network of new friends.
"Soon after arriving in Guernsey, I went down to a Vikings training session, and it progressed from there.
"A significant advantage of living here is the distance from work to the training ground and home again. In the UK, for example, you might have a 40-minute drive or rely on a train or bus. When I was playing back home, it took me about half an hour to get to rugby from work.
“The island is blessed with opportunities to play sport competitively, and because it's small, I can leave the office at five, and be at training by quarter past. It’s also a short journey home.
“That's a big advantage, especially when you are tired and hungry after training.
"I honestly don't think I'd be attending as many training sessions as I do thanks to living over here, and that's made a big difference to how I play," says Matt.
"I go to the gym about three times a week at the moment, maintaining my fitness. My usual routine is the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; Tuesday and Thursday are training days; our games are on a Saturday, which could be home or away.
"Of course, travelling to games is harder; we have to be up early and it's a long day; that is the downside of island life."
The season ends in March and pre-season training starts again in August, but Matt keeps his fitness up in the off-season. He's also looking forward to the Fallaize Cup in May when the team travels to Jersey.
"In the weeks leading up to a Jersey match, there's a real buzz around training and a lot of people come back who you haven't seen for a while," explains Matt.
It's not all sport for Matt, as he is also studying for his ICSA exams.
"That's quite hard to balance with work and rugby. It's a juggling act but I want to gain the qualifications to progress in my career. HFL has a very good training scheme - I am given time out of the office to attend the course, study and do the exams. My manager is really supportive as well; HFL is very good like that."
As well as his sport and professional progress, Matt cites helping younger rugby players achieve their potential. "St Jacques Vikings trains against the Guernsey Raiders and is a gateway for youngsters to move up to the Raiders. The rugby community in Guernsey is tight-knit and there's a crossover between the two teams.
"I love seeing the lads progress, and we've got an excellent Academy set up here."
With studying to gain his qualifications, his day job and fulfilling his potential on the pitch, it's clear that Matt has a busy schedule and is loving his life in Guernsey, supported by his colleagues at HFL.
"Work-life balance is important to everyone at HFL. HFL is passionate about creating a supportive and inclusive environment where staff can thrive and do what they do best. We are true to our values, care for each other, and strive to be the best," says Stacey Le Page, People & Culture Officer.