Two Athlone leisure centres have been awarded this year’s White Flag Award at an awards ceremony held yesterday [Thursday] evening.
Both Athlone Regional Sports Centre and Zen Fitness & Leisure at the Athlone Springs Hotel received the 2011/2012 ILAM White Flag Award, the only comprehensive standard for gyms, swimming pools, and indoor leisure facilities in Ireland.
Other local gyms and leisure centres to receive the award include the Carlton Shearwater Hotel Leisure Club and Kingfisher Club in Ballinasloe; Abbey Health & Fitness, Roscommon; and Bridge House Hotel Leisure Club and Tullamore Court Hotel Leisure Centre in Tullamore.
In all, 85 Irish leisure facilities received the 2011/2012 awards, which are now in their 11th year. Four facilities received the flag for the first time and nine facilities achieved the White Flag for the eleventh consecutive year. Disappointingly, no flags were presented to leisure facilities in Longford, Louth, or Leitrim.
This year’s White Flag Awards took place at a gala event yesterday evening, hosted by RTE sports commentator Michael Lyster, in Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa and Country Club in Carlow.
The highly sought-after ILAM White Flag Awards are an essential quality mark that swimming pools, sports halls, fitness studios, and gym facilities across Ireland strive to achieve. The White Flag is a visible sign that leisure facilities are operating to high standards and, as such, are the ones that consumers should check out first when joining or attending a leisure facility.
The judging process ensures that fitness and gym instructors are fully qualified, facilities are safe, clean, and hygienic, and that equipment is maintained correctly. The White Flag Awards are judged by an independent jury made up of experts from a number of nationally recognised organisations including Fáilte Ireland, the HSE, the Irish Hotels Federation, Consumer Association, Swim Ireland, and Irish Water Safety.