At last night’s annual general meeting, I stepped down as Chairman of Wave Leisure Trust. I have been involved with Wave Leisure as a Trustee, Deputy Chairman and Chairman since it commenced trading on April 1st 2006. Six years is the maximum term that I can serve given that Wave is registered as a Charitable Company.
I think it’s fair to say that it took a little time back in 2006 for the Board of Trustees to understand its core role and how it would effectively work with the Wave senior management team. However, perhaps this should not be surprising given that a group of 19 people were working together for the first time. Six years on and I believe the Board of Trustees and the senior management team are now a cohesive and very effective unit.
Wave Leisure operates eight centres over an area of 292 square kilometres. 971,000 people visited the centres during 2011/2012, 37% by children and young people. Every year, it undertakes programmes to upgrade centres and implement programmes that aim to inspire people to embed movement into their lives.
Wave Leisure has come a long way over the past six years and now operates a number of ‘excellent’ centres. ‘Excellent’ is the rating used by Quest, the UK Quality Scheme for Sport and Leisure.
Soon after taking up my role at Wave, I bumped into a leisure CEO at a conference who cautioned me about joining a leisure trust. He believed that many were poorly structured and destined to fail. He was partially right as some UK leisure trusts have failed along the way, but Wave Leisure has prospered. Wave Leisure consistently generates a net annual surplus and according to its auditors is in the top quartile of all UK leisure trusts. This gives it the capability to invest in future projects that support its overall mission.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the six years I have been involved with Wave Leisure and look forward to following their future progress, under Peter Crowley, the Managing Director, as they develop new ways to encourage people to discover the joy of ‘moving’.