Leisure centre operator is ‘best in the land’

Published: Friday 26th July 13

The company that runs the borough’s leisure centres on behalf of the town hall has been named the best in the country in a prestigious national competition.

DC Leisure, which manages Wandsworth's seven sports and recreation centres and its five swimming pools, including the hugely popular Tooting Bec Lido, has been crowned the 2013 "leisure centre operator of the year" in the ukactive Flame Awards.

The awards recognise excellence and best practice within the leisure management sector with the judges' decision heavily influenced by customer satisfaction surveys. It is the fourth time that DC Leisure has been named as the competition's winner. 

Its chief executive Steve Philpott said: "We are extremely pleased to accept the award for Operator of the Year 2013. The award recognises our success in achieving outstanding operating standards and our commitment to delivering an unmatched customer experience for each and every user."

Sports and fitness facilities in Wandsworth are widely recognised as being among the best in the country. The council and DC Leisure have both invested large sums to ensure that residents can enjoy top quality venues and equipment.

Five new state-of-the-art artificial grass pitches have just opened at the Wandle Recreation Centre following a £150,000 council investment. They are now available for football, hockey, touch rugby and other team sports.

As well as the five new artificial grass pitches, the Wandle also boasts a modern gym that benefited from a £74,000 upgrade in 2012.

Last year DC Leisure invested £850,000 in improving the facilities at local leisure centres, including the refurbishment of three squash courts at Balham, £400,000 on new gym equipment and changing rooms at Putney and new gym equipment at three other centres, including the Wandle.

In addition to improvements to the facilities managed by DC Leisure, over the next two years an additional £850,000 is to be spent on upgrading the borough's tennis facilities.

The council will be spending £350,000 on improving 23 tennis courts at both Battersea Park and Barn Elms, while a further £500,000 is earmarked for the courts in King George's Park, Wandsworth Common, Tooting Common, Leaders Gardens in Putney, Furzedown Recreation Ground and Wandsworth Park. The latter amount will be paid by All Win Tennis Ltd which recently won the contract to manage these courts and is committed to bringing them up to Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) standard.

Work was recently completed on a £100,000 scheme to provide better athletics facilities at the Millennium Arena in Battersea Park, which saw the refurbishment of its eight lane Olympic-standard running track.

This summer an extra £150,000 is being invested in improving the Olympic standard running track at Tooting Bec Common while field athletes will benefit from upgrades of its long jump, pole vault, hammer and discus facilities.

The borough's 52 acre riverside sports venue at Barn Elms offers grass pitches for football, rugby, cricket, aussie rules and rounders as well as specialist facilities for archery, athletics, field events, a gym and a boathouse for rowing.

It also has artificial tennis, netball and hockey surfaces and four beach volleyball courts that were created with 1,000 tonnes of sand from last summer's Olympic event in Horseguards Parade.

For more information about these venues and all the other sports, leisure and fitness centres in the borough visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/sport

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