A south east Northumberland sports centre has scooped a national first after winning a prestigious ‘excellence’ grading.
Blyth Sports Centre and the Make-a-Move Leisure Inclusion team were described as ‘inspirational and exceptional’ by Sport England’s leading quality scheme, Quest.
Quest is the best-known improvement programme within the sport and leisure industry and its rigorous assessments challenge the best leisure centres and sports development teams.
The centre and inclusion team had a three-day assessment across all areas of operation as well as a mystery visit.
“There was some outstanding leadership, management and coaching demonstrated and witnessed during the assessment, the staff are exceptional,” said Quest assessor Paul Brivio.
Northumberland county councillor Susan Dungworth, Active Northumberland chairman, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a real team effort.
“Quest Combo is a gruelling assessment and is more than a tick-box exercise; it is an on-going programme to improve our facility and our teams for both staff and customers, and a great way to demonstrate our achievements.”
Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell, who accepted the Quest plaque from Sport England on behalf of Active Northumberland, added: “I am delighted and proud that Active Northumberland is the first organisation in England to score excellent in a Quest Combo assessment.”
Quest’s operations director, Caroline Constantine, said: “By meeting Quest’s high standards, Blyth Sports Centre and the Make-a-Move Leisure Inclusion Team has shown its commitment to providing quality facilities and service to its customers.”
“In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that local leisure facilities can demonstrate their value, and the Quest process helps them do just that.”