The top operators, suppliers and facilities from across the physical activity sector were celebrated last night (26 October), as the winners of the prestigious ukactive Awards 2023 were announced at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
The Awards, sponsored by STA, saw Professor Greg Whyte OBE and award-winning fitness author and PT Laura Hoggins host the evening and announce the winners in the 15 categories.
Head to the end of the article for the full list of winners.
Places Leisure was the big winner on the night, taking home both the Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award and the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award for its Big Sister project. Judges praised the project’s ability to recognise the key transitional moments for girls in their teenage years that offered them the chance to realise the benefits of physical activity on their own terms.
Tom Goodhand, operations director at Places Leisure also took home the Outstanding Leadership Award, adding to the organisation’s success on the evening.
This year, the prestigious National Club/Centre of the Year Award went to Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre – Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Les Mills UK scooped the Supplier of the Year Award for helping clubs reach Gen Z audiences and younger members, with Study Active receiving the Education Provider of the Year Award for its user-led programming, recognised by the judges for successfully supporting the sector to retain and upskill staff.
In the individual categories, Elaine Hutton from Bangor Aurora Aquatics & Leisure Complex received the Physical Activity Hero Award and Jamie Groves, managing director of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd on the Jan Spaticchia Special Recognition Award in acknowledgement for his exceptional service to the industry.
The New Build or Design of the Year Award went to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) for the second year in a row, this time for its Sands Centre site in Carlisle. Judges commended the site’s exceptional ability to maximise every inch of space, all while creating a multifaceted hub that caters to the diverse needs of the community it serves.
GM Active was awarded the top prize for Innovation for its Prehab4Cancer program, which judges applauded for being both important and revolutionary in delivering prehabilitation and recovery programmes for those managing a cancer diagnosis. The programme also featured in the main kick-off event for this year’s National Fitness Day.
This year’s ukactive Awards saw nominations from across the breadth of the sector, with the judges praising the high quality and excellent achievements demonstrated by all of the finalists – the full list is available here.
Each entrant underwent a rigorous independent assessment which was delivered by our process partner, ProInsight, and designed to select the best in each category from hundreds of entrants, as well as to provide valuable feedback from the judges to help improve but also to promote success.
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “The ukactive Awards are a real opportunity to come together and celebrate all the great work our sector does day in and day out, and the celebrations were felt throughout the night.
“The finalists this year have showcased some amazing ways that our sector not only unites communities but really furthers the health and wellbeing of our nation.
“A huge thank you to all of the winners, finalists and supporters who made the night one to remember.”
Dave Candler, CEO of STA, said: “It was fantastic to celebrate all the industry’s achievements at the ukactive Awards this year and to be able to play our part as headline sponsor.
“We saw outstanding examples of leadership, creativity, innovation, diversity, and excellence from all the finalists and winners, proving how amazingly talented and resilient the physical activity sector is.
“Congratulations to all the winning individuals, teams, and organisations who have all made such a significantly positive impact on people’s health and well-being over the last 12 months.”
The ukactive Awards 2023 winners
Regional Club/Centre of the Year
Northern Ireland & Wales – Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre – Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
Scotland Live Borders – TriFitness
North – Brio Leisure – Winsford Lifestyle Centre
Midlands – Serco Leisure – Rebecca Adlington Leisure Centre
London – GLL – Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre
South – Ivybridge Leisure Centre – Fusion Lifestyle
National Club/ Centre of the Year – Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre – Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
Supplier of the Year – Les Mills UK
New Build or Design of the Year – GLL, The Sands Centre
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award – Places Leisure
Healthy Communities Award – Vivify
Innovation Award – GM Active CIC
Marketing Campaign Award – Anytime Fitness UK
Digital Transformation Award – Lampton Leisure
Education Provider of the Year – Study Active
Physical Activity Hero Award – Elaine Hutton, Bangor Aurora Aquatics & Leisure Complex
Outstanding Leadership Award – Tom Goodhand, operations director, Places Leisure
The Jan Spaticchia Special Recognition Award – Jamie Groves, managing director of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd (DLL)
BUCS Physical Activity Excellence Award – University of Southampton and Students’ Union
Outstanding Organisation of the Year – Places Leisure