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UEA Sportspark excellence recognised in national award

The University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Sportspark has become one of only three university sports centres in the country to be recognised for its excellent sport and recreational facilities in a national award.

The Sportspark, based in Norwich, has upped its Quest rating from Good to Excellent after an inspection in January this year. Quest is Sport England’s recommended continuous improvement tool for leisure facilities, designed to measure how effective organisations are at providing customer service.

It joins Aberdeen Sports Village and London South Bank University in being acknowledged for delivering excellent quality services to students and the community alike.

The award is supported by Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport Northern Ireland, as well as organisations like CIMSPA, ukactive, Chief Leisure Officers’ Association and SPORTA.

The Sportspark was previously rated as Good on the two-day assessment grade, the second of three levels available, and has gone onto achieve the highest rating possible for this level.

The assessment looks at key elements of sporting facilities, including customer service, cleaning, environmental management, maintenance and health and safety, among other key management considerations. Much like inspections for health and education facilities, inspectors ask members of staff at all levels questions as part of their assessment.

The Sportspark is lottery-funded and provides inclusive, accessible facilities for the local community, offering an affordable and diverse range of sports and activities.

Facilities include a 50m competition pool, fitness centre, climbing wall, a gymnastics and trampolining centre, numerous sports courts and studios and a 400m athletics track.

Phil Steele, Director of Sport at UEA, said: “Engaging with the Quest assessment scheme represents a great opportunity to test our services against a large number of community and university facilities across the UK.

“I’m proud we’ve gained an excellent grading as it showcases the commitment the team have had to engage with our customers and try to consistently provide the best service possible. With the need to provide this standard of service to each of our visitors, it shows the degree of effort that has required to be seen as achieving this objective.”

Caroline Constantine, Director of Right Directions, which manages the Quest scheme, added: “As one of the largest university sporting facilities in the country this is an incredible achievement.

“At 1.4 million visits per year, this makes the Sportspark one of the busiest facilities we assess and through this assessment they have shown how consistently they can deliver against the most stringent of service expectations.

“Sportspark’s management deliberately pick challenging modules, as they see Quest as an improvement tool, which will I’m sure pay dividends. Our assessor really enjoyed assessing Phil and his team as they are truly engaged in pushing to exceed all customers’ expectations.”

Anna Linsmith, Head of Quality, Health and Safety at Sportspark, said: “Winning this award has really galvanised the team and has shown them that the hard work they consistently invest is valued and recognised.”

For more information about the Sportspark, visit: http://www.sportspark.co.uk/   

For more information about Quest, visit: https://www.sportengland.org/our-work/partnering-local-government/tools-directory/quest/