Regional Queensland Fitness Business Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre, Toowoomba, Wins Top National Award from Peak Industry Body Fitness Australia

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Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre, Toowoomba, Queensland, has taken out the Prize for Advancement of Excellence award for 2013 from Fitness Australia at the annual Australian Health & Fitness Industry Quality Awards. As sole recipient of this award, Willows has met a number of rigorous qualitative and quantitative criteria to achieve premier national status.

Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre from Toowoomba, Queensland took home the top national award from Fitness Australia, the industry’s peak body at the annual Gala Quality Awards function held in Sydney on Friday, 1 November 2013.

The Quality Awards promote and celebrate industry excellence and the work the fitness industry does in helping everyday Australians to positively change their lifestyles and improve their health.

Fitness Australia has awarded Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre the inaugural Prize for Advancement of Excellence. The Prize is awarded to a fitness business that has previously achieved a GOLD standard and has made further significant improvements to its high quality service.

“This new Prize for Advancement of Excellence recognises businesses that have managed to exceed the very high standards they have previously achieved. Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre has built on its high quality service through implementing a software program that allows tracking a range of outcomes across its programs that will improve the effectiveness and quality of their work,” Ms. Stace said.

Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre provides a variety of services in the Toowoomba area including a gymnasium, (including group fitness, cardio and strength and conditioning rooms), squash courts and pool, as well as housing an Allied Health centre that includes Exercise Physiologists, Physiotherapists and Occupational and Massage Therapists and a Dietitian.

“With more than 60% of Australian adults estimated to be overweight or obese and the consequent increase in chronic conditions, the fitness industry has a vital role to play in the health of our community. But with this role comes the responsibility of ensuring that our businesses are providing high quality and striving for continuous improvement. These awards demonstrate our industry’s commitment to deliver quality service and to raise the bar ever higher,” Ms. Stace said.

Interview with Troy Morgan, Managing Director, Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre:

1.)    Given that Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre had already won the Gold level award last year and again this year, how is the Prize for Advancement of Excellence different?

"Whilst the Gold level award indicates that Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre is achieving at a high standard throughout the quality cycle in all criteria - 1.) Programs, services and customer service; 2. People (workforce); 3.) Safety and environment; 4.) Business Management – all vital elements of a successful fitness business practice, the Prize for Advancement of Excellence award provides recognition above the Gold level quality award because the winning business has demonstrated significant advancement to their quality service and culture since the previous year. For Willows, this included continuing to search for greater platforms of connection for individual clients and the wider community which links their goals and dreams to our business; to link to allied health and additional medical support which they need. Willows' "why" is about bringing to life the opportunities and possibilities through health which change can bring, so we are always searching to find better ways to do this and the award provides recognition of these efforts which our team strives to achieve each and every day. It is also recognition for Willows' fantastic members, partner businesses and the wider community who continue to believe in what we do."

2.)    What does this award mean for the Willows community?

"For the wider Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre community it shows that it is possible to achieve national recognition, no matter where the business is physically located. The barriers of being a regional business are being broken down through the amazing opportunities technology brings to take our message to a wider audience, as this message is then made easier to communicate with the community in which we live and work and also to the wider world. These opportunities though, must align with the core values and beliefs of the business."

3.)    Do you think winning this award from the peak industry body, Fitness Australia, will change the way that you personally work? If so, how?

"The recognition for Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre certainly provides confidence and drive to continue to strive to be better each day. The Australian Health & Fitness Industry Quality Awards process is not only a great self-reflection tool for one’s business but also for one’s personal development. This self-reflection makes you ask questions around your leadership and around your ability to engage people around you in the vision of the business; this is a humbling experience to go through that can only lead to both personal and business growth."

For further information or for an interview with Troy Morgan (Managing Director, Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre) please email troy(at)visionhealth(dot)com(dot)au or call 0417 750 037. For additional information including pictorial support, please contact Susan Morgan at susan(at)willowshealth(dot)com(dot)au 0412 716 979. For an interview with Ms. Lauretta Stace (CEO, Fitness Australia) please contact: Angela Koutoulas, Res Publica at akoutoulas(at)respublica(dot)com(dot)au, 02 8297 1514 or 0412 388 574.

About Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre: As a Health and Fitness Industry award-winning business, Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre believe that their strength is built through collaborative leadership with those around them; clients, staff, the wider community and allied health and medical professionals. See the website:

About Fitness Australia: Fitness Australia is the peak health and fitness industry association, providing a range of business support services and solutions to almost 30,000 registered exercise professionals, fitness service providers and industry suppliers Australia-wide.    

About Fitness Australia’s Health and Fitness Industry Quality Awards 2013: The Health and Fitness Industry Quality Awards were evaluated by a panel of independent experts with credentials in quality assessment and auditing.

Further information can be found on Fitness Australia’s website:

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