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Otara Leisure Centre wins top award

Media Release
19 September 2008

Otara Leisure Centre wins top award

Manukau Leisure Services Ltd’s (MLSL) commitment to offering outstanding facilities to people of Manukau has been recognised by a prestigious industry award.

MLSL’s Otara Leisure Centre won the New Zealand Recreation Association’s (NZRA) Outstanding Facility Award 2008 earlier this week at a gala dinner in Christchurch. Located in the heart of Otara, the centre houses a sports stadium, pool complex, fitness centre and the Manukau Institute of Technology School of Sport.

NZRA spokesperson Kirsten Malpas says the judges were impressed with the involvement staff have in the local community, and the way they’re reducing barriers to recreation and listening to their clients’ needs.

“The judges also noted special attention has been given to those with disabilities and those facing financial hardship.”

The award underpins the centre’s ongoing efforts to provide the best service to local community, says the centre manager, Mike Ibbertson. “The local community includes many people with serious health issues - obesity, type II diabetes, inactivity and poor nutrition. _Our pool and fitness teams provide programmes to help address these issues.

“We’ve also introduced new sports like kick-boxing. Also, people joining the fitness centre get free one-on-one sessions with a fitness trainer. This service, known as Face2Face, covers fitness, lifestyle and nutrition, and has received excellent feedback so far.”

Last year the fitness centre was upgraded in response to customer feedback and Barrier Free NZ recommendations to cater to people with disabilities.

The results have been positive, with membership numbers and retention both increasing. “Our team is trained to help and plan activities for disabled customers, and many have enrolled in a NZQA-approved sign language class to help them work with the deaf community.


About Otara Leisure Centre
Otara Leisure Centre is run by Manukau City Council’s Manukau Leisure Services Ltd (MLSL). The centre encourages locals into physical activity through affordable pricing, partnership programmes, free transport and even learning sign language – to help locals be active more often.
The centre’s range of services include after-school care, sports days, te reo swimming classes for the young ones, social competitions and training for specific events like women’s triathlon. In the past 12 months, the centre’s usage has increased 12.5 percent. A recent independent customer satisfaction survey shows overall customer satisfaction is 90 percent.
Of note is the centre’s involvement with the Special Olympics basket ball team’s training sessions. It also hosts the annual ‘Ribbon Day’ Basketball Tournament. The spa and sauna are free for disabled people.
The pool is free to all locals, but the centre also offers very affordable rates for community groups, students, elderly and low socio-economic groups.

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