Queensland’s Pools make a Splash at Inaugural ALFAQ Awards

Champions of Queensland’s leisure and aquatics industry were recognised for standout achievements and their commitment to excellence at the first Australian Leisure Facilities Association Queensland (ALFAQ) Awards last night.

The inaugural Jonas Leisure Facility of the Year Award went to the Milne Bay Aquatic and Fitness Centre in Toowoomba. Jonas Leisure National Sales Manager Bryn Whales congratulated the facility on standing out from a field of “extremely high calibre” nominations.

“The team at Milne Bay has done a fantastic all-round job this year, and their commitment to consistency and excellence in all facets of their business delivered them the award. A lot of the other finalists were doing amazing things. All would have been worthy winners, and it does Queensland’s facilities great credit to see the benchmark set at such a high level.”

Other award finalists included Kawana Aquatic Centre on the Sunshine Coast, which was nominated on the strength of its versatility and elite sports program. Brisbane’s Yeronga Park Pool was nominated for outstanding community programs, while Newmarket Olympic Pool, also in Brisbane, was nominated for technological and design improvements which led to a large increase in visitor numbers.

Mr Whales said the award recognised best practice in the operation of aquatic facilities, and Jonas Leisure was proud to work with ALFAQ for this opportunity to support the sector.

ALFAQ President Dan Kwaczynski said the first annual awards had been introduced to give the hard-working people and organisations behind Queensland’s leisure and aquatic facilities a part of the recognition they deserved for the opportunities they provide for people to get active and enjoy themselves.

“Queensland has great aquatic facilities and outstanding individuals devoted to the industry. Unlike other states, we previously lacked industry recognition for these facilities and individuals. The Board of ALFA Queensland introduced the awards to address this.”

The first Orimatech Award for Excellence was also awarded at the event. Mr Kwaczynski said this award recognised outstanding levels of individual career achievement. The award went to Shelley Douyere, currently responsible for several of Queensland’s pools as Managing Director of Multi-Level Sports.

He said this accolade was well deserved, citing Ms Douyere’s longstanding work with local communities to encourage greater participation and develop programs suitable for everyone from base-level swimmers to elite athletes. Heath Rackley of City Venue Management on the Gold Coast was this year’s runner-up.

“Over an amazing 40-year career, Shelley has developed learn to swim programs across the board and instigated a number of targeted programs to include and build confidence in people outside of the main stream – for example refugees, mature aged and parents of under 6-month-old babies. She deserves recognition for these achievements.”

The Awards were held at an ALFAQ session during the Aquafutures International Conference at Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas.

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