Kirklees Active Leisure wins top ASA Award for its aquatics

Ever taken a dip in one of Kirklees Active Leisure’s (KAL) nine pools? Then you’re in expert hands, as the charitable leisure trust has just won the ASA’s Facility Operator of the Year!

KAL, which manages 14 leisure facilities and swimming pools on behalf of Kirklees Council, won the category for operators with up to 22 wet sites. The Amateur Swimming Association (the national governing body of swimming) recognised KAL for its outstanding programmes, performance and partnerships.

More than 6,500 adults and children swim in KAL swim academy which is the swimming lesson programme that operates in KAL pools each week, making the non-profit organisation the largest swimming lesson provider in the area. KAL has increased the number taking part in public swimming sessions by over 10,000 people, having introduced new products and programmes and new timetables for all pools. The spectacular new Huddersfield Leisure Centre, which opened in May, is open also for public and community swimming at all times.

For those furthering their development with swimming, KAL’s Swim Performance training programme is helping over 300 swimmers train to the highest standards across its one adult and five junior squads in the borough, with a number youngsters being identified on the British Swimming Talent Programmes. The squads have enjoyed many successes this year with swimmers competing for GB Swimming and Paralympic Swimming, and KAL’s Swim Performance Head Coach, Mark Lappin, being selected as a GB coach for the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa in September.

But there’s something for everyone as KAL has even developed partnerships with local clubs to offer Water Polo, Synchronised and competitive swimming too.

Gemma Hill-Wood, KAL Aquatic Manager said: “Winning a National Award is a fantastic achievement for KAL. Aquatics has been a key focus for the organisation and the teams work really hard to provide such a range of activities.

“We have had a fantastic year with KAL Swim Performance, having athletes invited to the GB programmes and the opening of Huddersfield Leisure Centre providing an amazing facility for the whole community. KAL have now been recognised nationally for being the best facility operator for 2015 – it’s brilliant.”

“The award recognises operators that have demonstrated continued commitment to improving their aquatics programmes over the last 12 months and have demonstrated creative use of innovation, whilst ensuring community engagement, inclusivity and driving participation is high on the agenda,” said Adam Parker, CEO of the ASA. “KAL has delivered an outstanding service to the local community over the last year and we congratulate them on this thoroughly well deserved award.”

KAL, the ASA and Kirklees Council are now working together on a project called ‘Let’s Get Swimming’, to help increase opportunities for people with disabilities to be active.

Swimming is one of the best all-round forms of exercise there is. Not only can it help you to tone up and lose weight; it can also help tackle mental health issues. For people who require more gentle forms of exercise, it’s a great way to get a good workout if you are recovering from injury or have pre-existing health conditions, because you are supported in the water. More than this, swimming is a vital life skill; learning to swim could save your life one day, so why not take the plunge? Check out KAL’s website or pop into your local centre for more information.

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For further information please contact:
Vicky Kiernander at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel. 07812 381924

About Kirklees Active Leisure
Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) is a charitable trust which manages 14 leisure facilities and swimming pools on behalf of Kirklees Council. KAL’s vision is to help more people become more active, more often by providing high quality services and facilities at excellent value for money.

Abigail Harris About the author
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