Coming to you live from BATL London, it’s Will Gordon! Our staff spotlight for this month. He’s Mr. April. I had the privilege of meeting Will when he joined Kitchener Sunday Black in 2016. In walks this tall, confident gentlemen sporting some wicked ink. He fit right in. Now that I am aiming to do a Staff Spotlight each month he immediately came to mind.
Will’s journey with BATL began in 2014 when he attended a charity event for Movember at Tomahawks (now BATL London). He was on the London Movember committee and they were looking for a fun activity to do (what’s more fun than axe throwing right?). Since Mother Nature can be a right bitch at times, the weather was terrible that night and there was a small turn out for the event. Will ended up throwing in a big foam Mr. Moustache suit and was immediately hooked. He ended up speaking with Matt Thomas, GM of BATL London, who mentioned they were starting leagues the following January and the rest is history. He started working for BATL in 2015 when they officially opened their doors in London. When I asked him what his favorite thing about working for BATL was, he said:
“It’s the people by far, both the staff, and guests. Seeing in real time someone accomplish something they may have never thought they could, or even excel at, always makes me smile.”
Will apparently likes to keep busy because he currently throws in three leagues (Sunday Red, Monday Red and the “infamous” Tuesday Red). You’ll also find him throwing in Sunday Black Kitchener in the Summer for a season or two (we miss him when he doesn’t throw with us). He is also the league runner for Sunday Red and throws under the handle Mr. Saucey. He throws under the handle because:
“I do this because I like to teach and throw with new league members and sometime that means throwing one’s or three’s so I can challenge them to get into situations they may not normally be comfortable with. As the skill level improves, the tougher the challenges, until we can throw heads up. This way it doesn’t impact my NATF average throwing as Big Will G.”
Although Will is Mr. Awesome at Axe Throwing, he does have a day job. He’s Trojan Man….well…not really. He works for Trojan (not the condom company). Trojan is a world leading company that provides engineering solutions using UV light to disinfect municipal drinking water, waste water, removal of environmental contaminants from ground water, indirect portable reuse water and ballast water from ocean going ships. His title is Municipal Designer 2, and he works directly with the municipalities in the US to find a solution to disinfect their water or waste water using UV light in lieu of chemicals like chlorine (FYI, that was alllll him describing his job).
Since Will is such an accomplished axe thrower, it should come as no surprise that he has competed multiple times in Champs League. Looking for some advice if you’re competing in Champs? Here’s what Will suggests:
“1) Do it if you qualify, it’s the best training to understand how to compete under pressure. I’ve found everyone that has competed has learned something and in general I’ve seen a jump in their skill/stats in the following season of league play. 2) Never assume you’ll walk over a lower ranked opponent because there are so many factors that go into their ranking and how they got there. Conversely, don’t assume a higher ranked player is out of reach, be confident in your skill and as we have seen, anything can happen during a match. 3) Be prepared. Spend some extra time practicing, there is no magic in the secret sauce, it takes hard work and dedication; luck is just a result of being prepared.”
So what does Will do in his spare time? Between BATL and Trojan, he doesn’t have a ton of spare time, but when he does find a minute, he loves to be creative. He designs shirts, carves pumpkins and is looking to try painting this summer as well. Plus, he entertains the masses with his Gettin’ Sauced videos….like this fave of his:
With regards to Will’s future plans towards axe throwing he’s going to stay with it and try to keep up with the “young guns” killing it week in and week out. He wants to keep being relevant and approachable so others feel free to ask him questions on give advice when it will be of value. He hopes to be part of the sport as is matures and perhaps one day work for BATL in a greater capacity. Overall with life, he’s trying to keep it simple, have tolerance, be kind, and keep looking for things that will light a fire in his spirit.
Last but not least, as I always do, I asked will what his favorite BATL story was. Here’s what he shared:
“It’s hard.. There are so many.. I guess it was NATC 2017 and everyone had a long day of competing in both Nationals and Skillz and a large group bused over the Dock Ellis for some cocktails. One thing led to another and Matt Thomas and I were at Wilson’s late, like until sunrise the next day. We decided to go back to our hotel to get some sleep before we were off to prom (Yes another night of partying after an all-night’r). What happened when we left Wilson’s was pretty epic I must say. Wilson thought we were going to crash and when upstairs to get blankets I think, in the meantime we hopped into a Uber back to our hotel. Wilson calls us, where are you? We reply, we found a bike at your neighbor’s house and are doubling back to the hotel. The response was classic and went something like this.. Please tell me you didn’t steal my neighbors’ bike, they hate me already… I think we hung up and just let that ride until prom later that night. We kinda lead Wilson to believe we stole his neighbors bike for the entire next day.. Still puts a smile on my face thinking about it.. BTW.. you know anyone that needs a slightly used bike?”
If you’re ever in London, drop in and visit him at BATL London, he’s pretty great.