A host of leisure and fitness facilities across the country received nationwide recognition at the annual Ireland Active National Quality Standard Awards held at the Slieve Russell Hotel on 25th of November 2022.

The National Quality Standard Awards (previously known as the White Flag Awards), have been in operation since 2001 and are the only industry specific award for the Leisure, Health and Fitness sector in Ireland. They are the most sought-after and respected accolades in the industry and awards across the three levels of Achieved, Exceeded & Outstanding.

This year, 86 facilities nationwide attended, with five facilities awarded an ‘Overall Winner’ award in different categories, having been recognised for their remarkably high standards in safety, hygiene, customer engagement and human resources.

TUS Sports was awarded the Overall Winner of the Fitness Award category, with Gymplus Ballsbridge and K Leisure Newbridge also recognised on the shortlist for the award. The Overall Winner for the Hotel Leisure Award category was Clannlife Fitness & Leisure Club, with The Kinsale Hotel and Spa and Zest Health Club (Cavan) shortlisted in this category. Laois Leisure Portarlington was announced as the Overall Winner of the Leisure Award category, with Trinity College Sports Centre and Newpark School Sports Centre shortlisted.

Expert Leisure meanwhile was awarded the Supplier of the Year award, with Aqualine, Complete Leisure, Podium4Sport and Atlantic Coast Lifeguards shortlisted for the honour. The Most Improved Facility Award was awarded to TU Dublin Broombridge while Leixlip Amenities received the Best Newcomer Award. Finally, Imelda Lyons was recognised as the Staff Person of the Year.

Speaking about the awards, CEO of Ireland Active Karl Dunne stated: “We are delighted to be able to recognise so many fantastic facilities throughout Ireland today at our annual Ireland Active National Quality Standard Awards. Our members have faced a tough and difficult year, and yet have continued to strive for the highest of standards despite all the obstacles they have faced. We are delighted to see the excellent work and dedication that has gone on behind the scenes.”

Also speaking about the awards, Chairperson of Ireland Active, Joe Cosgrove stated: “What these facilities have done during an extremely difficult and trying time is really inspirational. Their commitment and dedication to achieving and maintaining such high standards is truly remarkable, and we would like to give a very big congratulations to all winners on their fantastic achievement.”

The awards reward excellence for facilities in the sector that meet the operational standards across 250 quality-based criteria and are endorsed by Sport Ireland. Participants include local authority, private and hotel leisure facilities. Ireland Active provides support for the awards in the area of standards, programmes, garda vetting and training. In 2019, Ireland Active established the first industry specific Skillnet to assist members in accessing discounted industry training.