The awards are the most sought-after and respected accolades in the leisure and fitness industry

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 Castleknock Hotel on 19th November 2021.

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 Outstanding (gold), Exceeded (silver) and Achieved (bronze).

This year, 79 facilities nationwide were awarded, with five facilities also awarded an ‘Overall Winner’ award in different categories, having been recognised for their remarkable high standards in safety, hygiene, customer engagement and human resources.

K Leisure Newbridge, Co Kildare was awarded the Overall Winner of the Fitness Award category, with TUS Sport (Midlands) and WIT Arena (Waterford) also recognised on the shortlist for the award. The Overall Winner for the Hotel Leisure Award category was Arena Health and Fitness Club in Co. Dublin, with ClannLife Fitness (Co. Meath) and Zest Health Club (Cavan) shortlisted in this category. The Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre (Dublin) was announced as the Overall Winner of the Leisure Award category, with Shoreline Leisure Bray (Wicklow) and Tallaght Leisure Centre (Dublin) shortlisted.

Complete Leisure (Kildare) meanwhile was awarded the Supplier of the Year award, with Aqualine (Dublin) and Expert Leisure (Dublin) shortlisted for the honour. The Most Improved Facility Award was awarded to The Garryvoe Hotel (Cork) while InvincABLE Fitness (Waterford) received the Best Newcomer Award. Avril Moran (K Leisure) was recognised as the Staff Person of the Year, with Trish O’Reily (Waterford Warriors) and Siobhan Tighe (Coral Leisure) also shortlisted for this award.

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 in 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 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, and 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.

For more information regarding 2022 NQS awarded Facilities, head to NQS Facilities 2022 – Ireland Active