Fitness First scooped four awards at the fourth edition of the FIT Awards on Wednesday night, while Talise Fitness also had an evening to remember by landing a double prize.
Close to 350 people attended the sold-out event at The Hilton Dubai Jumeirah for what has now become a key fixture in the regional fitness calendar.
Organised by Sport360°, the annual gala dinner and awards night, in partnership with main sponsor Activelife by Daman and partner Reps UAE, recognised and honoured the achievements of the UAE’s top fitness professionals and companies.
Fitness First doubled their exploits of last year, winning the Fitness Brand of the Year title, Best Use of Social Media for Health and Fitness (Unleash campaign) and top Ladies Only Facility of the Year – with their Al Seef Village Mall venue rising to top spot. FF’s James Sidhu claimed the Fitness Manager of the Year to top off a fine evening.
Meanwhile, the Madinat Jumeirah branch of Talise Fitness scooped the Facility of the Year gong, awarded to an organisation with up to 2,000 members, while Talise Fitness Jumeirah Beach Hotel claimed the same prize but for having a facility which topped 2,000 members. Winning has become quite a habit for Talise, given they also scooped a double in 2016.
Once again, there were no shortage of applicants from across the UAE fitness spectrum, which included more than 2,500 registered professionals working in over 160 venues in the region.
A rigid and transparent judging process was overseen by a panel containing numerous industry experts, with each award being facilitated by independent auditors.
Among the other winners last night were Michael Poole (SMART Fitness) and Charlotte Mathers – winning the Personal Trainer of the Year awards in male and female categories, respectively.
The Group Instructor of the Year prize went to Stefani Bertoncini (StefBFIT) and Cloe Sommadossi (Pilates Academy Dubai) came out on top in the Pilates/Yoga Instructor of the Year category.
Elsewhere, Nikesh Naik, of the Aviation Club Dubai, triumphed in the General/Club Manager of the Year section while the coveted Rising Star of the Year honour went to Real Pilates’ Ketija Line.
Real Pilates enjoyed more success, winning the Yoga/Studio of the Year for the third successive time - making it a hat-trick!
With social media playing a huge part in the fitness sector now, healthy lifestyle coach Zena Habi (Female Fitness Influencer of the Year) and Peter Barron (Male Fitness Influencer of the Year), of UYP Lifestyle, took home individual accolades.
Adidas’ Ultra Boost X Launch was also recognised as the Product/Retail-Brand Activation of the Year.
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) secured the Fitness Work Environment of the Year prize, and Empiric UAE were awarded Fitness Training Provider of 2017. Meanwhile, Pura won the Health Food Operator of the Year honour.
Speaking at the awards evening, Steve McLaughlin, CEO of Sport360°, said: “The fitness industry in the UAE continues to grow at a rapid pace year on year, with hard-working individuals and respected teams maintaining and raising high standards across the board.
“The FIT Awards is our way, along with main sponsor Daman Activelife and partner Reps UAE, to recognise the achievements of a crucial sector in the region which is dedicated to improving the health and activity levels of the nation’s residents.
“Once again, we are delighted to see the awards form a key part of the fitness calendar, and as such, they are the perfect way to wrap-up another busy and memorable year.
“These all form part of the reasons why we decided to launch ‘Sport360.Fit’, a new health and fitness website in English and in Arabic complete with apps. This exciting new platform will be live early in the New Year and will be the go to destination in the region for health and fitness related information.”
WINNERS IN FULL
Personal Trainer of the Year - Male
1. Michael Poole
2. Nicky Holland
Personal Trainer of the Year - Female
1. Charlotte Mathers
2. Derryn Brown
Group Instructor of the Year
Pilates/Yoga Instructor of the Year
Fitness Manager of the Year
General/Club Manager of the Year
Rising Star of the Year
Facility of the Year
(Up to 2,000 Members)
1. Talise Fitness - Madinat Jumeirah
2. Real Pilates
Facility of the Year (2,001+ members)
Talise Fitness - Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Ladies Only Facility of the Year
Al Seef Village Mall - Fitness First
Yoga/Pilates Studio of the Year
Fitness Brand of the Year
1. Fitness First
2. Gold's Gym
Health Food Operator of the Year
Product/Retail or Brand Activation of the Year
Ultra Boost X Launch
Best Use of Social Media for Health & Fitness
Unleash - Fitness First
Fitness Work Environment of the Year
Fitness Training Provider of the Year
Female Fitness Influencer of the Year
Male Fitness Influencer of the Year