Winners of Active Training Awards announced
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Winners of Active Training Awards announced

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The physical activity sector’s best performers in workforce development were announced last night (30 November) at the Active Training Awards 2017.

Life Leisure came away with the most awards, taking home Medium-Sized Employer of the Year, together with an individual gong for Danny Drayson from Life Leisure Grand Central, who scooped Outstanding Individual of the Year.

Among the other winners, Virgin Active landed the Large Employer of the Year award, while Training Provider of the Year went to Future Fit Training.

“If the physical activity sector is the golden thread running through society, its workforce is its beating heart and soul,” said ukactive CEO Steven Ward.

“We have to celebrate those employers and training providers who are dedicated to developing it. The onus is now on us to use this as a springboard for rapid progress on the skills agenda in the next 12 months.”

More than 250 leaders from the physical activity sector came together at the Reading Hilton for the awards, sponsored by Active IQ, which was preceded by the Active Training Conference, in partnership with CIMSPA and sponsored by Active IQ and Lifetime Training.

The conference was opened by ukactive chair Tanni Grey-Thompson, who addressed the challenges the sector has faced in the past 12 months. She urged the audience to pull together to drive progress on the skills agenda.

Workplace diversity took centre stage during a keynote from CEO of Amaechi Performance Systems and former NBA star John Amaechi. He spoke about how a diverse workforce promotes a greater understanding of the communities they serve, encouraging innovative solutions and a stronger pool of ideas.

And Recruitment and Employment Confederation CEO Kevin Green took attendees through the policy landscape facing the sector, exploring how to navigate the challenges of the Apprenticeship Levy.

There was also a panel discussion on the future of exercise professionals, co-chaired by Ward and Royal Society of Public Health chief executive Shirley Cramer. Panellists debated the new skills needed for exercise professionals to adapt and meet the changing needs of society.

CIMSPA CEO Tara Dillon said: “As we continue to raise standards across the sector, it’s important we take time to recognise those who lead the way and demonstrate best practice.

“Huge congratulations to all the winners and the other finalists – we hope that their success sets the tone for improvements in the whole sector in the coming months.”

Jenny Patrickson, managing director of the awards’ headline sponsor, Active IQ, added: “These awards are so important in recognising those who lead the way as we innovate, improve, learn and develop as a sector.”

The full list of Active Training 2017 winners are:

Small Employer of the Year: York Sport

Medium Employer of the Year: Life Leisure

Large Employer of the Year: Virgin Active

Training Provider of the Year: Future Fit Training

Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: GLL

Best Innovation: Premier Global NASM

Specialist Training Programme of the Year: CanRehab

Transformational Leadership Award: 1610 Ltd

Outstanding Individual of the Year: Daniel Drayson, Life Leisure

Outstanding Achievement: Active Tameside

Outstanding Achievement: Oomph! Wellness

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The physical activity sector’s best performers in workforce development were announced last night (30 November) at the Active Training Awards 2017.

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