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World Leisure International Innovation Prize


2012 World Leisure International Innovation Prize Winners recieveing their awards at the 2012 Rimini World Leisure Congress Closing Ceremony


2012 PRIZE-WINNERS  (In alphabetical order)

Program: Community Access Program

Organization: Edinburgh Leisure, Scotland, United Kingdom

Contact: James Brandon, Head of Projects and Funding

Email: jamesbrandon@edinburghleisure.co.uk

Web: http://www.edinburghleisure.co.uk


 Like many countries Scotland faces harsh health inequalities; from people living in areas of complete social deprivation to some of the highest rates of obesity in the world.  High rates of drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and mental health conditions have also increased the amount of social isolation.


 The Community Access Program was created to support local social and welfare organizations and enable them to use physical activity as a health improvement tool. Edinburgh Leisure (a trust operating the City of Edinburgh’s public leisure facilities) consulted 250 partner organizations about how to deliver activities and take responsibility for barriers that they faced. The result was a focused scheme which includes the following features:


Providing free leisure cards (a card that grants entry into facilities) to all organizations who signed up to the scheme.  Subsidizing the cost of visits to UK £1 per person per visit for gym, swim and fitness classes (a subsidy averaging UK £4.20 per visit).  Providing training opportunities for all workers, support staff and project officers to gain confidence and competence to include physical activity in their projects. Providing a dedicated Community Inclusion Officer to provide support, advice and management of the scheme.  Implement an individual referral scheme for people who leave support agencies to support them in independent living.  The program continues to go through a process of innovation through community involvement in annual evaluations. This cycle of feedback, innovation and implementation makes this scheme unique in Scotland and across the UK.



Program: Terra Nova Rural Park

Organization: City of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Contact: Cathy Carlile, General Manager, Community Services

Email: ccarlile@richmond.ca

Web: http://www.richmond.ca



Richmond, British Columbia is a growing, dynamic urban center that has boldly adopted the vision “to be the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada”. This culturally diverse city of 186,000 people is experiencing growth and change at a remarkable pace as it transforms from a rural and suburban community to an international city.


Terra Nova Park is a 63 acre site bordered by Sturgeon Banks a 22,000 acre estuary, the Fraser River and a 35 acre Nature Park. It is easily accessed by the local community and is adjacent to a significant city-wide dike trail system that is also part of the Metro Vancouver regional Greenways system.


Historic uses in the park are being brought to life through community based agricultural programs run by non-profit groups. The site has become a venue for teaching about the local and global issues of food security and environmental stewardship. Adaptive re-uses have been implemented and others are being considered for the five heritage buildings and former residential buildings in the park. The fallow farm fields which are rapidly disappearing in urban areas are now managed to maintain a rich grass environment for raptors and other birds. Through diligent historic research, many historic features have been restored including 1880s pioneer settlers’ homes, gardens and orchards, fallow fields, hedgerows, waterways and woodlots. Other features include examples of modern urban agriculture including community garden plots and a non-profit sharing farm.



Program: The Mill Island

Organization: City of Bydgoszcz, Poland

Contact: Mrs. Agnieszka Dybowska, Senior Officer for International Co-operation

Email: a.dybowska@um.bydgoszcz.pl

Web: www.bydgoszcz.pl


The Mill Island is a post-industrial enclave covers 6.5 hectares in the center of City of Bydgoszcz, Poland. In previous centuries The Mill Island had been an important economic base and the seat of the Royal Mint, but the Island become degraded area since the Soviet Army burnt down the Royal Granaries in 1945. In the next 50 years this enclave became socially, environmentally and economically forgotten and marginalized.


The main objective of the project is not only to renovate historical features, but also to create new functions that make it a great innovative leisure space linking play, recreation, the arts and culture, festivals and celebrations, fairs, exhibitions, science festivals, water sport festivals, and many more.


The project is an innovative approach to create leisure opportunities through multi-dimensional revitalization with strong partnership and community involvement. In a broader sense, the project focuses on the social and cultural aspects of leisure as a solution for community inclusion, identity building, cultural heritage protection, respect for natural values and environment. The Mill Island presents the highest standards of sustainable and responsible leisure model, where revitalized infrastructure and quality program have achieved a positive long-term impact on the citizens, visitors and place. The project commenced in 2006 and the final phase will be completed this year.



2012 Highly Commended Projects


 Program: AQUAWORLD for healthier citizens of Budapest, The One Day Holiday Concept

Organization: Aquaworld Plc, Budapest, Hungary

Contact:  Ms. Katalin Pfandler,  President

Email: hankoa@aqua-world.hu

Web: www.aqua-world.hu


Aquaworld Budapest Hotel and Water Theme Park, the biggest tourist unit of Central Europe has been in operation since 2008. The Aquaworld Waterpark cost 70 M Euros. Public transport to the facility is provided by the "Hop on Hop Off" bus service, with information in 35 languages. Aquaworld has been part of the "Healthy Budapest" project for four years and contributes greatly to enhancing of life quality of the local communities, as well as to the building of international relations.


The aim of the complex is to create an international tourist attraction meeting unique demands, with a service structure that had not been previously been represented in Central Europe. The facility’s concept is a theme that created a physical environment to serve the needs of different target groups in an innovative and sustainable way, ensuring the long term sustainability of the complex. Apart from the physical implementation, the key aim of the project is to maintain and improve the health of the citizens living in and around Budapest, contributing to the concept of the "healthy capital”.


Program: Learning Through Sport

Organization: University of Worcester, England, United Kingdom

Contact:  Mick Donovan, Head of Institute of Sport & Exercise Science

Email: m.donovan@worc.ac.uk

Web: http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/schoolchildren-take-part-in-annual-learning-through-sport-event.html



The passionate and strategic commitment by the University of Worcester over the past 10 years to create unique, innovative Learning Through Sport initiatives have inspired, included and enthused thousands of children and young adults nationally and internationally.


Whilst many still believe that higher education institutions remain isolated from their communities, the work at the University of Worcester demonstrates that sport and higher education can work collaboratively to break down barriers and develop positive life skills in young people through focused and targeted approaches and promote lifelong leisure engagement.


The scheme’s philosophy is entirely unique in its requirement within the student athlete’s program of study to design and deliver extensive community outreach work to ensure that higher education is not an alien concept, is visible as a progression route and, is in the vocabulary of young people and their families.


The Worcester Arena element of the project will soon become the Centre for Disability Sport Coaching, Teaching, Research and Development: to carry out research into disability sport education, training, coaching, and coach education. It will provide enhanced programmes in disability sport for students, teacher training, Continuing Professional Development for teachers and coaches. It will become the home for national wheelchair fencing squad, regional center for wheelchair basketball and local club/home for blind football team/players.


Program: Stonehammer Geopark

Organization: Stonehammer Geopark, St John, Canada

Contact:  Gail Bremner, Executive Director

Email: gail@stonehammergeopark.com

Web: http://www.stonehammergeopark.com


 As North America’s first UNESCO supported Global Geopark, Stonehammer is about geology, but it is also about people, society and culture. Utilizing tourism experiences to impart this to the community and visitors alike is one of the four pillars of commitment for Stonehammer Geopark.


Stonehammer is the first Geopark in North America. Centered in Saint John, the park has a regional focus with 60 significant geological and fossil locales, including 12 publicly accessible sites. It connects people to the earth in a meaningful way through walking, kayaking, hiking, interpretive walks, and other experiences.


The Geopark encompasses 2,500 square kilometers of land in southern New Brunswick. Their goal is to influence and assist sustainable economic development in the region, primarily through the expanding global market of geotourism. Stonehammer is designed to add value to the existing tourism product by enhancing the stories being told and adding a deeper, richer understanding of geology and geoscience history to create a more diverse experience. Stonehammer encourages the use of local services and products, and supports active living and lifelong learning.


The project is a unique example of the community leading an effort to support the long-term sustainability of the City of Saint John and its surrounding communities with the help of partner organizations, corporate donors, and local and provincial governments. The Geopark is recognized by the Global Geoparks Network to have exceptional geological heritage. This means the area has a natural landscape that is good for education, has a significant scientific value, and is rare or simply beautiful to look at.


2011 PRIZE-WINNERS  (in alphabetical order)


Program: A Park for People

Organization: Nature Seychelles

Contact: Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah


Web: www.natureseychelles.org


The Sanctuary at Roche Caiman is a coastal freshwater wetland reserve 3 km from Victoria, capital of the Seychelles it originated from coastal reclamation works carried out in 1986. Prior to Nature Seychelles taking over management it was a wasteland, of no value to neighboring communities, a focus for anti-social behavior and under threat from prospective developers. In 2006, Nature Seychelles began a creative and complex wetland restoration project, unique to the Seychelles, to bring new life to the site. Since 2008, the site has been developed as the Seychelles’ first green leisure landscape – “A park for the people”. It offers a variety of innovative leisure activities that have enhanced the social, cultural, environmental and economic quality of life for the people of the Seychelles.


Program: Livvi’s Place Inclusive Playspace Network

Organization: Touched by Olivia Foundation, Australia

Contact: Rebecca Ho

Email: Rebecca.ho@touchedbyolivia.com.au

Web: www.touchedbyolivia.com.au


In the darkest grief an adult might experience – the loss of an infant - two inspiring parents decided that their daughter’s death would not be in vain. Touched by Olivia Foundation was formed in Australia in 2006 with the key objectives to help create happier and healthier lives for children. The aim of the Foundation is to provide an inclusive public playground in every community in Australia. The playgrounds are to be available to everyone regardless of age or ability. The uniqueness of these playgrounds is that they cater for neurological impairment as well as physical impairment, able-bodied users and adults in a public environment. Each playground is able to offer something for everyone by being inter-generational. To be truly inclusive the playgrounds appear and function as a traditional playground. A key objective of the playgrounds is to combat childhood obesity by offering such children an inclusive environment that helps them by creating an atmosphere where the children do not feel self-conscious.


Program: The Thousand Isle Lake Reservoir Conservation Project

Organization: Thousand Isle Lake Landscape and Travel Bureau, China

Contact: Yang Fang

Email: catour@163.com

Web: www.qiandaohu.cc

The Thousand-Isle Lake was originally a reservoir formed by the construction of the Xin An Jiang Hydroelectric Power Station to supply electricity. In building the reservoir, 290,000 residents were relocated, and 90% of the fertile fields in the area were lost resulting in severe local economic changes. The reservoir covers an area of 573 km2, includes 1,078 islands and has a storage capacity of 17.8 billion m3. The Bureau commenced tourism development in 1982. Since then the Thousand-Isle Lake has developed 13 high quality scenic locations. The area now includes a New Century Resort, Sheraton and InterContinental Hotels plus four other luxury resort hotels. There are also four holiday resorts of 100 km2 under construction, with many tourist real estates, marinas, township and village tourism programs in operation. However, alongside the tourism industry, the Thousand-Isle Lake is constantly improving the local environmental quality and especially maintaining their Class I national water standard. In addition, the forest coverage around the lake has increased from 23.8% to 95.8%. It is a National Ecological Demonstration Zone.


2011 Highly Commended Projects


Program: The Sport Development and Social Legacy Project

Organization: The Football Foundation of South Africa

Contact: Michael Lutzeyer, Director

Email: info@football-foundation.com

Web: www.football-foundation.com


The Football Foundation of South Africa (FFSA) is a sport-plus non-governmental organisation founded in 2008 to promote sport and social development. It was inspired by the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The FFSA embarked on a unique project in Gansbaai, a non-host, small-town community in the Western Cape, to accelerate social change and community integration in a racially divided populace through the provision of improved sport and leisure opportunities. Working closely with the Grootbos Foundation (established in 2004 to manage environmental and social development projects for the Grootbos Nature Reserve), the FFSA project was established, with funding support from the English Premier League, to facilitate and manage the youth programmes of the foundation and is a unique example of how an event-based themed regeneration project can be undertaken within a developing country. The impact of the FFSA project has been overwhelmingly positive with the community experiencing an increased level of intangible legacies including youth development, social integration and community pride. Key factors in the success of the project have been partnership/sponsorship; ownership and participation; monitoring, evaluation and sustainability.


Program: Tourism for All in Flanders

Organization: Tourism Flanders

Contact: Anne Smits

Email: anne.smits@toerismevlaanderen.be

Web: www.visitflanders.com


Holidays are a basic right. Tourism Flanders – an agency of the Flemish government - is working to provide holidays for all. The ‘Tourism for All’ decree gives a new interpretation to social tourism and refers to a non-commercial form of tourism, in addition to merely economic activities. Tourism for All provides a structure to support specific target groups experience holidays. The target groups are people living in poverty, people with a disability, children and young people, families and senior citizens. To ensure a dynamic, sustainable and inclusive approach Tourism Flanders collaborates with private organisations and companies. This public-private association makes the Flemish social tourism facilities unique and is seen as best practice in (social) tourism. Tourism Flanders has developed an Accessible Travel Action Plan that resolutely opts for an inclusive approach targeting mainstream tourism facilities and using regular information channels. It has also developed a Holiday Participation Centre, which makes holidays accessible for people with a low income. Usage has grown from under 1,000 in 2001 to nearly 100,000 in 2010.

Previous Winners



World Leisure Innovation Prize Winnners

City of Umeå, Sweden for "Culture for Senior Citizens – Culture and Health"


Birmingham City Council, UK for "Gym For Free"


University of Technology, Sydney, Australia for "Sydney For All"



2010 Highly Commended                        

 Monash City Council, Australia for "Attendant Support Initiative"


Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for "Pride for Play"


World Leisure Innovation Prize Winnners

Caradon District Council, Cornwall, United Kingdom  for "Ginsters Active Workplace"


The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association for "Everybody gets to play"


Vélo Québec Association, Montreal, Canada for "Route Verte"



2008 Highly Commended                        

South Gloucestershire Council, England, United Kingdom for "Breakthrough

Mentoring Project"


World Leisure Innovation Prize Winnners

City of Christchurch, New Zealand for the “Southern Centre Multi Sensory Facility”


Emmanuel Foundation, Calgary, Canada for “Playgrounds in Contexts of Extreme Need”


City of Townsville, Queensland, Australia for “The Strand ... a People’s Place”


Zhejiang Province, China, Tourism Science Research Institute for “Tourism Planning for Hangzhou Xixi Wetland Comprehensive Conservation Area”



2006 Highly Commended            

City of Brisbane, Australia for  "Active and Healthy Lifestyle Program"


Wuhan Sante Cableway Group Co., Wuhan, China for "The Old Villas of Lushan Mountain"


Wuzhen Touring Development Co Wuzhen, China for "Wuzhen: Creating Leisure Tourism in Chinese Original Ecological Ancient Town"

We Foster Inquiry

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By advocating for conditions optimizing leisure experiences: legislation, infastructure, leadership and programming.