The TARKA Team


TARKA is run by a team of young, charismatic professionals who are dedicated to bringing out the best in your child. All members of the team have considerable experience in both leadership and development, and look to apply these skills to the most malleable period in a child’s development.

All members of our team are DBS, Child Protection, and paediatric first-aid certified.



Rufus was educated at Harrow and Oxford Brookes University before joining the British army in 2006, where he commissioned into the Household Cavalry and went on to complete a tour of Afghanistan as well as ceremonial duties in London. He also spent a year at a training regiment instructing phase one recruits which he adored.

After leaving the army in 2014, Rufus embarked on a career in property development but missed the challenging and rewarding nature of army life, as well as the opportunities it presented for working with young people. TARKA was therefore set up as an opportunity to go back to what he enjoys the most. Rufus loves all sports, particularly rugby, cricket and skiing. He has bicycled across the United States, completed the Marathon des Sables twice and rowed the Atlantic Ocean.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding



Leo was educated at St. Mary’s School Ascot and read Early Childhood Studies at Oxford Brookes University. For two University summers, she worked at Camp Echo, located in Upstate New York, where she helped run the aquatic activities for children.

Upon leaving Brookes, Leo worked at Pippa Pop-ins Nursery School where she built on her knowledge of the developmental process of the brain in young children. She chose to move to TARKA as she strongly believed in the importance of physical activity and making learning fun and active.   

Outside of her TARKA role, she is a keen skier and tennis player.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Designated Safeguarding Officer (Level 3) 


Oliver Lockhart

Ollie was educated at Ludgrove and Oundle school where his love of sport saw him represent the school in all his chosen sports including Athletics and Rugby.

Following school, he spent a season as a ski instructor in Austria. His favourite lessons were with younger children as he could see the rapid improvement in their confidence and ability as well as their sheer joy and excitement.

Ollie came to TARKA through his father, who was Rufus’s Commanding Officer in the Army, and brings with him some of his military upbringing balanced with being young enough to remember what is like to be a kid and what is currently cool!

Since starting at TARKA Ollie has quickly risen to become a Lead Instructor in our classes and birthdays and has travelled to several countries as a Mentor with some of our TARKA families over the holidays.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding


Tilly Thomas

Tilly was educated at Queenswood School and studied Ancient History at the University of Birmingham where she was part of the running club, and attended a fair few symposiums!

Following university, she had planned to take a gap year in Australia, working and travelling there for a year. She managed to spend 3 months travelling up the east coast, trekking through the Cape Tribulation Rainforest and kayaking out to see enormous Green Sea Turtles, until she had to make a rapid return to the UK due to Coronavirus.

Following this, Tilly stayed as active as possible, and spent 3 months volunteering with her local council, packaging food and toiletry boxes for the vulnerable.

Tilly is in charge of operations at TARKA and making sure that everything runs smoothly! In her free time, Tilly is an avid tennis player, playing frequently in her local club, and swimming regularly with her friends.