Celebrating 20 years with Kerry MacDonald
Kerry MacDonald tells us some memories of working at Bolton Arena over the past 20 years
Can you tell us more about your role and background?
I have been at the arena since it opened, I started as a part-time attendant which quickly became a full-time position after 6 months. Every full-time attendant had a Customer Service Manager who they worked alongside, my CSM was Simon Sharrock. Whilst as an attendant Simon trained me to become acting Customer Service Manager, I would cover holidays and sickness.
In 2003 after coming back to work after an accident I returned to work on reception which was meant to be short-term until I fully recovered, however, I stayed working on reception and became the Head Receptionist.
In 2018 I became Sports Systems Co-ordinator and am currently still in that role, my role is to provide an effective and efficient administration service for the Sports department (including all offsite and outreach activity), ensuring all Arena departments are informed about products and the Legend system is kept up to date. To liaise with Reception on booking procedures, pricing, etc to ensure efficient customer service and capture of all revenue. Along with changing my role it meant that I had a new senior manager to work alongside, Stuart Kay (Head of Sport) who I get on great with.
What made you apply for a job at Bolton Arena?
I got a phone call from Martin Eden who was the Operation’s Manager at the time whilst I was at my grandma’s asking me if I would be interested in a job at the arena, as I had never heard of this guy, I thought it was a wind-up and put the phone down on him. Luckily for me, I rang him back and he saw the funny side of it, and I came down for an interview and was offered the job.
Do you remember your first day?
As it was a new building everyone was new, so this made it much easier as everyone was in the same position. I remember me and Lesley Hough having a game of tennis as we had seen some young children on the court who made it look easy to do, poor Lesley had her work cut out, she was running across all 4 courts as my aim was terrible.
What do you think is your biggest achievement since you have been here?
The scary thing is I have now been at Bolton Arena for more than half of my life so it’s hard to think of just one thing but the main one is how I developed within my career, when I first started I had very little confidence in myself and would have never thought that I could majority of the things that I have done.
I think if Simon Sharrock was asked what Kerry’s biggest achievement, he would say finally passed her driving test, Simon used to get frustrated at a 17-year-old me as I used to get the train here every day and he would just go on about me getting lessons….it took me till I was 30 for me to realise I need to start driving 😊
The arena has been a massive part of my life, I started when I was 17 years old living at home with my parent and now, I am a homeowner, married and have 2 children Macie and Lincoln and fur baby called Nala.
What has been your favourite memory from the past 20 years?
I have so many memories, but one is being part of the Commonwealth Games set up for the Arena’s side of things. it was amazing and surreal at the same time.
I have also made met so many amazing people and some lifelong friends whilst being here and I am sure I will have some more amazing memories to add over the next few years.
Thank you for sharing your memories with Kerry!