09 March 2006
Blaenau Gwent’s Leisure Services Division has won a prestigious Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM) award recognising their excellent work in promoting health, physical activity and wellbeing.
Blaenau Gwent is the first Council to receive the award in South Wales, and only the second in the whole of Wales. ILAM reported that the assessment of Blaenau Gwent had been the strongest across the UK to date.
Leisure Services provides and manages four Sports Centres, an Indoor Bowls Centre, Parc Bryn Bach Country Park, and 19 parks as well as two theatres, the Market Hall Cinema, and seven libraries.
A huge range of activities, classes, courses, events and workshops from salsa classes to Football Fun Days are available. The sports centres work closely with local schools to provide activities and many community services are also provided, such as a mobile library van, art workshops, local sports clubs and guided walks.
ILAM assessed the promotion of health and wellbeing through these services and the results were excellent. ILAM Assessor, Paul Cluett, said there is “an outstanding variety of programmes available,” and an “exceptional commitment to partnership working.” He described the assessment as one of the best he has ever carried out.
Street League Football was highlighted as a model example of excellent practice and an innovative scheme in Blaenau Gwent. Street League Football is part of the Splash Programme run by Sports Development and has been an enormous success.
Mr Cluett also singled out Parc Bryn Bach and Abertillery Sports Centre as outstanding facilities with unique opportunities to help improve the health of the people of Blaenau Gwent.
ILAM also praised the staff as having a “can-do attitude” and “a genuine commitment to making a difference to the health of the community.”
Leisure Services were presented with a plaque and a certificate to mark their success. The ILAM Active logo will now be used on all signs and displays.
Councillor Steve Thomas, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing – Healthy Living, said: “We are delighted to be only the second authority in the whole of Wales to receive this award, demonstrating our commitment to providing high quality leisure services to the people of Blaenau Gwent. The Leisure Services Division works hard to provide a wide range of facilities and activities to ensure that there is something for everyone. The Pace Yourself Project and the Active Living Project are just two such innovative schemes that encourage people to become active and make a link to improving health and wellbeing.
“The sports centres also provide first class leisure facilities, as seen with the upgrading of the equipment in the lifestyle studios last year. This ensures that all abilities are catered for, as participation and inclusion are key drivers for sport and leisure in Blaenau Gwent. The ILAM award clearly demonstrates this dedication and is a testament to the hard work of the Leisure Services employees.”