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Top award for H2O Xtream

Media release
For immediate release 30 November 2007

Top award for H2O Xtream

Last night (Thursday 29 November 2007), Upper Hutt City Council’s H2O Xtream won the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA)’s Outstanding Pool Award 2007. The award was presented at NZRA’s national conference, held in Rotorua.

Focused marketing, upgraded facilities, customer-friendly staff and a massive dose of fun and commitment, gave H2O Xtream the edge over other entries.

The pool’s vision – to be totally focused on achieving excellence through innovation, dedication and positivity - is working and the numbers prove it. During the 2006/07 year, 250,781 swimmers passed through the doors – 21,800 more than the year before.

Many customers come from outside the community – with 55% of visitors during the April school holidays coming from outside Upper Hutt.

The pool targets the 10 – 14 year old youth market (traditionally a difficult group with which to connect), but internet marketing and television advertising have paid off, at peak times 58% of attendees are in the targeted age group.

The pool’s connection with this market, has been acknowledged and management are often asked to share their strategies – including the development and use of Teen Boards, which are used to keep in touch with the changing needs and trends of the teen market.

NZRA CEO Brendon Ward says the judges were impressed with the way the pool fulfilled its council mandate and used effective regional marketing.

“During the past five years, overall pool usage has increased by 25%,” says Mr Ward. “That proves the pool is using a winning formula – and we wanted to recognise the team at H2O for delivering such excellent results.”

Alison Law, H2O Xtream manager, says she was so excited to win the award, but couldn’t have done it without the hard work and support of her team.

The NZRA national conference ‘Kowhiti Spring into Action 2007’ was held in Rotorua this week (Wed 28 – Fri 30 November 2007). More than 200 senior council managers, councilors, consultants and contractors attended.

The conference included field trips to two of Rotorua’s top visitor attractions – the Redwood forest and the new Energy Events Centre – as well as presentations from local and overseas recreation experts.

At the awards dinner on Thursday night (29 November 2007), groups and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in recreation programming, projects and facilities were recognised.


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