The recent UK Pool & Spa Awards presentations were the biggest and best ever…

A SPECIAL GUEST appearance and a Special Achiemvent Award for Pool Guy, Miles Laflin
A SPECIAL GUEST appearance and a Special Achievement Award for Pool Guy, Miles Laflin.

With a surprise appearance from legendary social media giant The Pool Guy and with a whopping 22 companies winning an overall category award, the recent UK Pool & Spa Awards presentations were not only the biggest but the best in the competition’s 12-year history. A staggering 27 companies achieved a Gold Standard providing them, their business and the industry as a whole, with a priceless promotional platform.

The UKPSA switched for the first time to the National Conference Centre in Birmingham but repeated its popular networking format with each guest receiving a gift bag bursting with goodies to reflect the Xmas theme. The event saw the first of five Special Achievement Awards presented to Miles Laflin, The Pool Guy from Bedfordshire who has gathered more than one million followers on You Tube and 13.7 million – and counting – followers on Tik Tok. The event organisers also presented a Special Achievement Award to Jane and Sarah Veysey of AllSwim, the Welsh self-build pool specialists who were celebrating 50 years in business.

There was a farewell appearance from Tom Holman, the managing director of Fowler Swimming Pools who is stepping down after 40 years in the business who was presented with a Special Achievement Award to mark his outstanding contribution to the sector. A stand-out performance by the AstralPool team in the provision of the Commonwealth Games training pool was also rewarded with a Special Achievement Award. A rare Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bob Kent of Msi as the event, and a standing ovation, recognised on his unique contribution to the water leisure sector.

The founder of Certikin, Bob retired for all of one day, after selling the company before launching MSi, that has gone on to become the successful global suppliers of Jolly Gel, Zeoclere and the VacAlert safety device. The top honour for Pool Supplier Of The Year went to Certikin at a time that has seen the company move base, change managing director and future-proof its position as the UK’s biggest supplier of water leisure specialist equipment. Aqua Platinum Projects, a company that has continued to invest in both expertise and reputation, as masters in the provision of wellness and water facility provision, were awarded the title of Pool Contractor Of The Year.

Already appreciated by 45,000 new users annually, Water-i.d. GmbH from Germany, beat off strong competition to scoop the title of Pool Product of The Year with its latest water testing model, the PoolLab 2.0. There was also a stand-out win for Neuman Aqua popular winners of UK Pool Team Of The Year and a memorable night for the mutli award- winning company. Serco Leisure were named Water Leisure Operators Of The Year and Stephen Doxey of Take Wellness was proclaimed Pool Technician of The Year.

“An emphasis on family wellness, post-Covid, is driving sustained investment in home swimming pools, hot tubs and swim spas,” reflected Christina Connor, the managing director of Waterland Media, the publishers of Pool & Spa SCENE magazines and the organisers of the popular awards event. “Investment in health and exercise on the doorstep has seen the UK home water leisure sector sustain a half billion-pound market value for both indoor and back garden leisure facilities,” she continued. “With the Awards being an industry barometer, entrants report that demand is particularly high in quicker build home swimming pool options such as one-piece swimming pools and swim spas as people consciously see the value of investing in wellness as well as fun family time.”

Showcasing the very best examples of pool and spa design from across the country, and around the world, the competition featured projects and products across 225 entries from 60 companies to assess. With each sponsor involved in the judging process, a record 22 judges were involved in the 2022 decision-making as winners across 30 categories were confirmed at the presentation event in December. Covering both home and public pool and spa facilities, The UK Pool and Spa Awards is the only competition open to everyone involved in the provision of water leisure, regardless of their trade association affiliation.

All entrants are awarded gold, silver or bronze standard in a contest that attracted over 2,000 on-line votes, as well as votes from specialist judges, before being scrutinised by an independent jury, making it the most robust contest in the industry. Energy efficiency and eco-measures remain at the top of the agenda for water leisure with this year’s stand- out swimming pool project is being marketed as ‘probably the world’s most caron-neutral’ pool. The winning project was a collaboration between Love2Swim and AquaBlue Design with a Polypool heat-retaining panel system at its focal point.

The pool is managed and controlled by a Propure Ultra Low Chlorine Treatment with an internet connection via Vistapool app. This allows Love2Swim to access and monitor the pool chemical levels, temperature, and filtration timings. An Heatstar AHU is maintaining the room environment (room temperature 31C) and humidity (60%) with fans running at 75% capacity. The Solar PV supplies energy to power the ASHP and GSHPs (x3) with spare capacity directed at the house and Tesla batteries.

Any spare battery capacity is recharged as required utilising cheaper/overnight electrical tariffs. The pool, people would most like to swim in, was the Britannia Leisure Centre pool, a project by Ustigate alongside architects Faulkner Browns and leisure operators, GLL. Another stand-out winner was Aquascapes who scooped the prestigious title of Outstanding Pool Design Of The Year for its £1m glass bottomed pool on the rooftop of the redeveloped Blackfriars Crown Court building in London.

When considering swimming pool projects, the jury looked at construction, product and design as well as overall appeal. Dependent on the number of entries, categories were split to enable more projects were able to win where appropriate and possible. For instance, to reflect the interest, a new category for one-piece pools was added this year and will be expanded upon in next year’s competition. Once again the event organisers gave grateful thanks to the sponsors of the competition, without whose support, the competition would not be possible.

Entries for the 2023 UK Pool & Spa Awards will open in May 2023.

UK Pool & Spa Awards
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