Printed Date: 23/04/2018

GLL Makes a Big Splash at Swim Awards

GLL, the UK’s largest public pool provider, has won big at the Amateur Swimming Association National Swimming Awards 2015.

The awards – in four separate categories – further cement the charitable social enterprise’s reputation for investing in community sport to make life better.

Not-for-profit GLL won silver in the National Facility Operator of the Year in recognition of its commitment to improving its aquatic programmes over the past 12 months, while ensuring community engagement and inclusivity. With over 90,000 pupils accessing swimming lessons per week and an increase in prepaid swim members, GLL is bucking a national decline in swimming participation – providing pools at 106 of its facilities.

GLL swimming teacher, Harley Hicks, who works across the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest in addition to teaching at the Olympic legacy venue the London Aquatics Centre, won silver for Swimming Teacher of the Year. Harley teaches pupils of all ages and abilities and more recently has been focusing on young adults who have not had the opportunity to learn to swim helping them deal with their fears and gain confidence in a vital life skill. The pupils talk passionately about it changing their life and it being one of the best experiences of their life. .Harley creates more of a social group than a swimming lesson, they have their own online chat group and have social nights out, having fun whilst conquering their fear of the water. Not only will they continue to swim, they have found friends to swim with and they will encourage others to take on the challenge; his award recognises him going the extra mile to deliver the best quality lessons and motivation for his pupils. Harley also played a key part in the Innovation Award.

The Innovation Award went to a new collective of swimmers and swim teachers challenging stereotypes and removing barriers to participation. GLL have supported the ‘Swim Dem Crew’ at London Aquatics Centre from the outset, following Harley and fellow GLL teachers Danielle Ballaram’ and Matt Gordon being challenged to take a group of 15 young adults with limited experience of Swimming to prepare for a One mile open water race. The crew now swim every Monday night at the London Aquatics Centre and then tour different London pools on Saturdays - creating a new type of Social Swimming Club.  

Woodhill Primary School, whose students attend GLL’s Waterfront Leisure Centre in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, won gold in the School of the Year category. The school and GLL partnered to develop a bespoke programme which has helped raise attainment levels and improve the delivery of swimming via a two-week intensive course that comprise of ten, 60 minute sessions. l.

The good news comes on top of GLL winning ‘2015 Water Leisure Operator of the Year’ at the UK Pool and Spa Awards (23 November).

The pools operator achieved the Gold Standard Award for the growth, quality and affordability of its swim programme which now has 90,000 members in 90 locations paying as little as £3 per lesson.

Better Swim venues including the iconic London Aquatics Centre, also known as ‘The People’s Pool’, Manchester Aquatics Centre and Olympia and Shankhill Leisure Centres inBelfast.

Commenting on the awards, Andrew Clark, National Sports and Aquatics Manager at GLL said:

“These awards are testament to GLL’s commitment to investing in our communities to make life better through sport.

“We’ve innovated to meet the varied demands of pool users. So now, time-strapped schools can fit swimming into their curriculum and conventional competitive pools become more fun by adding inflatable playgrounds.

“Swimming is a valuable life skill, has social and health benefits and can be enjoyed throughout your lifetime.

“With GLL now being the largest provider of swimming facilities in the UK, it’s an exciting time for the sport, so find out where your nearest pool is and join the UK’s swimming revolution.”


For more information, call Charles Dean, Corporate Communications Manager on 07813 458 258.