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FLAME 2009 award winners announced

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Winners of the 2009 FLAME Awards have been announced at the Fitness Industry Association's (FIA) annual summit and conference in Bolton this week.

The Club of the Year Award was broken down into three categories: those with less than 1,000 members, 1,000-4,000 members and those with more than 4,000 members. Spirit Health Club in Taunton, Somerset; Bristol Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing; and Benton Hall Golf & Country Club in Essex won the categories respectively. Kevin Yates, national health and fitness manager for operator Leisure Connection, scooped the FIA's new peoples' choice award, called the Future of Flame. The category recognises an individual who has been nominated by peers for showing remarkable dedication to the fitness industry.

Yates has worked in the industry for 15 years and has had a raft of achievements including the launch of personal training packages for Harpers Fitness, which increased the brands personal training by 465 per cent. He has also worked closely with Primary Care Trusts to ensure centres have functional GP and exercise referral programmes as well as Buckinghamshire University and national charity Wheelpower to launch an inclusive sports programme, designed to increase participation in disability sports. Other categories include the Centre of the Year Award, won by Fareham Leisure Centre in Hampshire; Corporate Club of the Year, awarded to RBS Health & Leisure Centre, Gogarburn; Educational Club of the Year given to Pent Valley Leisure Centre in Kent; and Leisure Centre and Health Club Operator of the Year was won by DC Leisure Management and Fitness First respectively.

Health Club at Cadbury House Hotel in Bristol was presented with the Spirit of FLAME Award, recognising its performance during the awards process. Each category had up to six finalists."In many cases the difference between winning and not winning was down to a couple of percentage points" said David Stalker, FIA's Operations Director. "The quality of all the submissions was a testimony to the professionalism of our sector."

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Winners of the 2009 FLAME Awards have been announced at the Fitness Industry Association's (FIA) annual summit and conference in Bolton this week.
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