Ivybridge Leisure Centre has won the 'Regional and National Centre of the Year' category for the South at the 2023 UK Active Awards.  

The win is made even more special because the centre made the finals thanks to votes from the customers and community who visit and love the centre. 

The award was open to any UK club or Centre, and focused on how successfully the centre has met the needs of their customers and the local community over the past 12 months and could demonstrate why they are a facility that their customers love going to, and their team love working at.  We're really proud of the team at Ivybridge Leisure Centre who have worked tirelessly to form partnerships with organisations to offer affordable, sustainable activity that focuses on the needs of all ages in their community. 

In 2022, when war broke out in Ukraine, the team at Ivybridge pioneered a free membership scheme for refugees, taking care to ensure that all communications were in Ukrainian.  In the same year a £5,000 grant from Devon County Council's Innovation Fund provided 1-2-1 subsidised Special Education needs and disabilities swimming lessons. To do this, the team at Ivybridge trained more teachers with specialist knowledge of working with disabled children, giving SEND children the same opportunity to learn a lifesaving skill. 

The team tackle health inequalities not just in the centre but out in the community, the  Ivybridge Exercise on referral scheme offered a 12-week physical activity programme for residents over the age of 18 who had been inactive or moderately inactive with a medical condition and seated exercise taster sessions in the Ivybridge Library were also offered, helping to warm up those challenged with heating bills - as part of their 'Warm Spaces' campaign.

The Ivybridge team are continually looking ahead to the future and finding even more ways to support the local community.  The exercise on referral programme has gone from strength to strength and this summer the team partnered with the Libraries in South Hams and West Devon to offer a free child swim to all those who complete the Summer Reading Challenge with their local library. Children in care also enjoy swimming and soft play for free.

Anthony Cawley, our CEO commented: "We're so proud of this win and of our team at Ivybridge Leisure Centre.  This is a very special industry award and the win is even more important to us knowing that it was voted for by our customers.  The team at the centre are passionate and really care about their community.  They have a real determination and enthusiasm to offer the very best opportunities to everyone in the community so they can stay fit and healthy, whatever their ability.  We hope news of this win will encourage even more local residents to visit the centre, meet the team and make the most of the facilities on offer."