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Monday 19 March 2018
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13 Dec 2017
Drayson celebrates rise from school drop-out to UK fitness industry's Outstanding Individual of 2017

Danny Drayson has been on a journey from school drop-out to fitness and young person development ambassador at Life Leisure – and has now landed Active Training Awards' Outstanding Individual of the Year title along the way.

The father-of-two, who collected his award earlier this month, joined Life Leisure’s Motivator Scheme in 2011, initially working as a volunteer before qualifying to receive certified training in fitness instruction.

Having climbed the ladder to his current post as senior fitness coach at Life Leisure Grand Central in Stockport, Greater Manchester, Drayson is set to start his new ambassadorial role for the organisation in January, where he will be responsible for developing young people entering the sector.

Speaking to Leisure Opportunities on his award, Drayson said: “It was the biggest shock – I didn't think I was going to win. This type of thing doesn't happen to people like me, it was surreal.

“Life Leisure has never been judgemental but at school it was different – I was judged and people still might be getting judged. I'm living proof you can start with nothing and get to a good place.”

The operator, which runs 12 leisure and sports centres, also won Medium Employer of the Year at the awards, held at Reading Hilton in Berkshire.

Life Leisure chief executive Malcolm McPhail said: “This has to be one of my proudest moments: to see Danny win a national individual award and be recognised by his peers is absolutely amazing.”

More than 250 thought-leaders from the physical activity sector attended ukactive's Active Training Awards this month to celebrate successful workforce development throughout the industry.

For a second year running, Future Fit Training won Training Provider of the Year. Managing director Rob Johnson told Leisure Opportunities: “I'm absolutely delighted – we've consistently tried to drive up standards and we've proven you can deliver high-quality training over a long period of time.

"We're producing personal trainers, pilates teachers and nutrition advisors who can forge a career in the industry. We're giving people the right tools to do the job.”

Elsewhere, Active Tameside won the Outstanding Achievement award for overcoming significant organisational challenges through effective strategy, staff development and leadership.

Charitable social enterprise GLL scooped the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year gong. GLL’s apprenticeship scheme develops people at its Better leisure centres and GLL College – with 92 per cent of apprentices remaining in permanent employment at the organisation.

1610, which employs 450 people at 19 leisure centres in the South West, won the Transformational Leadership award after restructuring to meet challenges of reduced public funding and the impact of the increased national living wage.

Other winners included: York Sport (Small Employer of the Year); Virgin Active (Large Employer of the Year); Premier Global NASM (Best Innovation); CanRehab (Specialist Training Programme of the Year); and Oomph! Wellness (Outstanding Achievement).

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15 Mar 2018
Jeff Kohl to receive ISPA Dedicated Contributor award
The International Spa Association (ISPA) will present Jeff Kohl, former chief operating officer of Spa & Club Ideations, with the 2018 ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award at the 28th annual ISPA Conference & Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, US, set to take place 24-26 September.
13 Mar 2018
Wellness professionals gather for inaugural Women in Wellness Leadership Conference
On 6 March, two days before International Women’s Day, 230 wellness professionals from across the USA and beyond convened in New York City for the first-ever Women in Wellness Leadership Conference presented by American Spa magazine.
08 Mar 2018
RKF debuts luxury linen line with Paris fashion show
RKF Luxury Linen has debuted its new collection of high-end luxury linen wear with a fashion show in Paris.
08 Mar 2018
Attendances for women’s elite sport events set to break 500,000 barrier for first time
Women’s sport has never been more popular, as the number of spectators attending elite events in the UK is set to break the half-million barrier for the first time this year.
07 Mar 2018
Details confirmed for first ever FIBO USA event
Reed Exhibitions has confirmed the dates and venue for the first ever FIBO USA fitness trade show later this year.
02 Mar 2018
Global head of Miraval unveils plans for growth
Hyatt has plans to grow both Miraval and Exhale following its recent acquisition of the two wellness brands, with the hospitality giant investing another US$100m in Miraval by the end of this year, according to Marc Ellin, global head of Miraval Group, who spoke at the World Spa and Wellness Convention in London earlier this week.
01 Mar 2018
Matt Roberts reveals details of spa and fitness partnership at The Langley
London-based fitness entrepreneur, author and personal trainer Matt Roberts has called for a greater integration of spa and fitness in today’s holistic wellness space.
26 Feb 2018
Programme of speakers revealed for boutique fitness event Sweat
Daniel Macaulay, CEO of sports marketing group Brandwave, has been revealed as the keynote speaker at this year’s Sweat event, taking place on 8 March.
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