Theo Millward says the STA will continue to drive up standards and be innovative, as well as responding to the needs of the market.

Theo Millward, STA’s Operations Director, jokes that, with hindsight, his personal New Year resolution for 2013 should have been not to do so much.

“It’s been an incredibly busy and successful year for STA,” Theo says. “Business-wise, membership is up, sales are up, and we’ve launched some really exciting programmes across all areas of our leisure, health and safety and digital businesses.

“We’ve also played a key role in the launch of the Register of Aquatics Professionals, which is a really positive development for the aquatic industry.”

The high point of the year for STA was the launch of the STA SwimZone at LIW in September.

“I was proud and humbled when I stood on the STA SwimZone stage for the first time and saw the scale of what we had achieved,” Theo reveals.

“The response from everybody – staff, who all had smiles on their faces, and customers, as well as other organisations – made it all worthwhile.”

The STA will be setting its benchmark even higher for 2014. Theo comments: “For us, it’s always about driving up standards and being innovative, as well as responding to the needs of the market.

“For 2014, we want to continue growing the business but ensure it remains true to its core values that have been in place for the past 81 years – being friendly, approachable and flexible in all that we do,” he says.

“It’s a team effort – every person at our Head Office, as well as all our members and partners, play a very important part in STA’s success,” adds Theo.

Theo predicts that technology will continue to innovate and change the way the water leisure sector works.

He says: “Because compliance and maintaining quality standards rightly underpins everything the industry does, technology has been proven to be an invaluable management tool because it helps organisations to monitor, track and report on all areas of health and safety and training.

“The water leisure sector has a responsibility to ensure the quality of pool water for the enjoyment and safety of its customers,” Theo continues. “My advice is to embrace technology: it is a cost effective, timesaving management tool that helps to manage compliance, ensuring everyone is protected.”