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Leisure centre is best in the business

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012
HOwick Recreation Centre
Simon Smith

VIBRANT: Howick Recreation Centre has made a name for itself nationally. Some of its innovative staff are from left: Nick Fergusson, Michael Groom, Amy Yeoman, Aaron Tozer and Gerda Odendaal.

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An East Auckland leisure complex is officially the best in the country.

Howick Recreation Centre was recognised as outstanding facility of the year by the New Zealand Recreation Association on November 21.

Association chief executive Andrew Leslie says judges applaud the complex as a ‘‘well-performing, vibrant centre demonstrating all that is best about recreation facilities’’.

Twelve ‘‘outstanding’’ awards were given in different categories across the country.

‘‘The judging panel was impressed by  both the quality and level of nominations and those selected represent the best, most successful people, facilities, projects or events in the past year.’’

Manukau Leisure’s eastern manager Nick Fergusson is based at the Howick centre and says the judges were pleased with how the facility is serving the community.

‘‘They cited the example of developing preschool classes on the weekend so that the father could often come along,’’ he says.

‘‘We are rapt, yeah – hugely proud of the staff. The success is  because of them and their innovation and drive.’’

The centre employs about 50 full and part-time staff who run about 50 programmes for more than 600 people each week.

The groups range from gymnastics to exercise for seniors and people with special needs.

Together with 28 outside groups the busy centre had more than 300,000 visitors last financial year.

An independent survey found 93 per cent of customers would recommend the facility to others.

The centre has a revenue of $1.6 million a year. It sports a basketball stadium, gym, early childhood centre, physiotherapists and hire spaces.

Its facilities are often booked for events and cultural meetings and it received the Halberg Trust Gold SportAccess Award in 2010.

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- Eastern Courier

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