Horizon Leisure’s Havant Leisure Centre was crowned Local Authority/Leisure Trust Gym of the Year at the UK’s National Fitness Awards on Friday 24 November at The Athena in Leicester.
The annual event, which is the UK’s largest free-to-enter fitness awards, recognises excellence and achievement in the active leisure sector across the country. Horizon Leisure’s Waterlooville Leisure Centre was also shortlisted at the awards in the prestigious Regional Gym of the Year (South) category.
Havant Leisure Centre scooped the prize for Horizon Leisure for being a trailblazer and stand-out community leisure operator, with its wide range of neighbourhood-led initiatives, including its unique drop-in Wellness Hub in Havant’s shopping mall.
Havant Leisure Centre also offers dementia-friendly activities, a successful ESCAPE-pain programme, clubs for additional needs, a health referral scheme, falls prevention classes, long-term condition swim sessions, a new gym membership for 10-15 year olds, a Free and Active school holiday programme and various gymnastics, trampolining and learn-to-swim programmes.
Mike Lyons, CEO Horizon Leisure says: “Havant Leisure is much more than just a gym. We are committed to offering accessible and affordable options for everyone’s wellbeing. We aim to craft enjoyable experiences that inspire individuals to improve their health and wellbeing, aligning with our charitable objectives. Over the past year we have witnessed Havant’s memberships exceed pre pandemic numbers; memberships are up 26%, group exercise visits are up 15% and there’s a YOY increase in gym visits of 21%.”
Horizon Leisure’s Havant Leisure Centre generated more than £3 million in social value in 2022/23, which represents over £100 for every single customer, positively influencing everything from their physical and mental health to their life satisfaction, as well as reducing crime rates for young males in the area.
Lyons, who attended the awards ceremony with staff from Horizon Leisure concludes: “I was honoured to accept this prestigious award on behalf of our incredible team. Their dedication, passion and hard work have been the driving force behind our success. This recognition is a testament to their commitment to the residents of Havant and our unrivalled offer to our community is a result of their collective efforts. I extend my deepest thanks to every individual who has contributed to our journey of excellence. We won’t rest on our laurels, Horizon Leisure will be creating new and exciting opportunities for the community ensuring, better wellbeing for all.”
Councillor Gwen Robinson – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead for Communities and Housing at Havant Borough Council said “I’m delighted to see Horizon Leisure recognised nationally for the excellent work they undertake in the borough. Like the council, they are committed to improving the health of our residents, and do so through hard work and partnership working. Their efforts are welcome, and I wholeheartedly congratulate them on their considerable achievement.”
National Fitness Awards’ director Dominic Musgrave said: “This year’s winners should be very very proud – the high standard of entries made it a tough job to select a final shortlist never mind a winner and runner-up in each category.
“Our awards’ night was a great celebration of the fitness industry as a whole and it was great to see so many gyms represented at the event. It was a wonderful evening and it was lovely to share in the celebrations of the winners.”