A host of leisure and fitness facilities received nationwide recognition at the annual Ireland Active National Quality Standard Awards held at the Lyrath Estate, Co. Kilkenny on the 17th of November 2023.

The National Quality Standard 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, 89 facilities received accolades, 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.

TJ Reid Health & Fitness was awarded the Overall Winner of the Fitness Award category, with SETU Arena and Icon Health Club also recognised on the shortlist for the award. The Overall Winner for the Hotel Leisure Award category was the Tonic Health Club in the Castleknock Hotel, with the Arena Health & Fitness Club and Zest Health and Fitness Club shortlisted in this category. Newpark School Sports Centre was announced as the Overall Winner of the Leisure Award category, with The Watershed and Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre shortlisted.

Gym Source Ireland (TechnoGym) meanwhile was awarded the Supplier of the Year award, with Aqualine and DC Sports shortlisted for the honour. The Most Improved Facility Award was awarded to Tallaght Leisure Centre while Matchbox Fitness received the Best Newcomer Award. Finally, Michelle O’Reilly was recognised as the Staff Person of the Year.

Speaking about the awards, Ireland Active CEO Karl Dunne said: “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, John Windle stated: “The Health, Fitness and Wellness sector have come through a trying time and the way these facilities have responded 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.