Sandra Gilmartin has been announced as the new Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager of the Year, becoming the first Paddy Power store manager to take the title.
Gilmartin, 49, operates Paddy Power’s Cross Cheaping branch in Coventry and was announced as the winner earlier this week when she received her award from TV personality Chris Hughes at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel, stated: “Sandra Gilmartin will bring an authentic, passionate voice to her role just when the industry needs it most.”
The award comes at a time where betting shop criticism is at its highest, but despite this, Gilmartin reaffirmed her love for the job as well as for her customers as she stated that she will use her new title to provide a voice for other betting shop managers whom she believes hold the same views as her.
— Betting and Gaming Council (@BetGameCouncil) 11 November 2019
She was one of eight regional champions who were honoured at the ceremony, which saw her, along with deputy Roxanne Connolly, present a case to a panel of seven judges as to why she deserved the overall title.
As well as hearing Gilmartin’s case, judges also heard from a mystery shopper who had frequented the Cross Cheaping branch: “Staff were neatly presented, it was very busy but they knew customers by name. The manager and assistant had the shop under control, multi-tasking, chatting and offering drinks while tidying up. It seemed a very social place, the teamwork in this shop was uplifting.”
Born in Kilmessan, County Meath, Gilmartin initially worked in Ireland with BoyleSports prior to her switch to Paddy Power. She also briefly worked in Canada before eventually moving to work in Coventry in 2016.
Along with the recognition of being Betting Shop Manager of the Year, Gilmartin has also been awarded with a racing trip to Hong Kong, courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Moreover, she will also attend the Perry Barr greyhound track in Birmingham on 16 November to present the RPGTV St Leger trophy to the winning team before taking her Cross Cheaping employees to Ascot, where they will be treated to a day’s racing from a hospitality box.