TWO Offaly Leisure Facilities were included among the 85 nationwide which have been awarded White Flags by ILAM, the Irish leisure industry employers body.
The Tullamore Court Hotel Leisue Centre and the Bridge House Hotel Leisure Club were presented with the awards at a gala dinner hosted by RTE Sports broadcaster and commentator Michael Lyster in the Mount Wolseley Hotel and Country Club in Carlow.
It is the eleventh year that the Tullamore Court Hotel has received the prestigious award while it is the fourth year for the Bridge House Hotel. The Tullamore Court Hotel is one of only ten leisure facilities to receive the award in each of the 11 years that it has been handed out.
The White Flag is the only comprehensive quality award and measurement of standards for gyms, swimming pools and leisure amenities in Ireland.
The highly sought after White Flag Award, which is now in its eleventh year, is an essential quality mark that every swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio and gym facility in Ireland must strive to achieve and its presence is critical, in the absence of any government legislation.
Leisure facilities in 23 counties were presented with White Flags for 2011/2012. Four facilities received the flag for the first time and 10 facilities have achieved the White Flag for the eleventh consecutive year.
Disappointingly, however no flags were presented to leisure facilities in Longford, Louth and Leitrim.
Barry Walsh, President, ILAM remarked, “A White Flag is a visible sign that a swimming pool, gym or leisure facility is operating to high standard and is a safe place for adults and children to exercise. Consumers need to check that their gym or leisure centre has White Flag when joining or attending a leisure facility.”
The White Flag Awards are judged by an independent jury made up of experts from a number of nationally recognised organisations including Fáilte Ireland, the HSE, the Irish Hotels Federation, Consumer Association, Swim Ireland and Irish Water Safety. Judging is thorough and rigorous ensuring that fitness, gym instructors and lifeguards are fully qualified, facilities are safe, clean and hygienic; and that equipment is maintained correctly.