Life Leisure awards night pays tribute to former Group Operations Director Martin Harriman

Martin Harriman with wife Michelle
Martin Harriman with wife Michelle

It was an emotional night at Life Leisure’s annual employee awards, with the greatest honour of the evening going to much-loved colleague Martin Harriman, who passed away in May.

Martin, a dad-of-four from Stockport, worked at Life Leisure for 23 years.

He started his career in the leisure industry as a lifeguard, working his way up and eventually becoming Group Operations Director at Stockport’s Life Leisure.

Martin was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in honour of his dedication to the business, his unwavering support of colleagues, and passion to help Stockport residents.

His award was presented to his wife Michelle by his close colleagues Kate Egdell, Group Finance Director, and Michaela Pennington, Group Operations Director, who also shared a short film about Martin’s impact on the business and his colleagues – as well as his quirky sense of humour.

Speaking after the event, CEO Malcolm McPhail said: “Martin was instrumental in the development of programmes, working practices and internal innovations that have resulted in many industry awards over the last decade.

“On top of that, he was a truly inspiring and much-loved colleague, so it was fitting to present him with the evening’s highest honour.”

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Life Leisure hosts the annual event to celebrate the dedication and passion of staff across its 13 facilities. This year’s event was held at the Village Point in Heaton Moor.

Other winners on the night included the team at Cheadle Gym, who were awarded the Special Recognition Award for their quick thinking and resilience when there was a medical emergency at the gym.

Grand Central was named Centre of the Year, and Hannah Lago, who is a receptionist at Grand Central, was named the PB Champion of the Year for her ongoing dedication to the role and to customers.

Aidan Murphy and Sasha Moore shared the Sentinel of the Year award for their upstanding service and commitment to their roles within the company and of course Life Leisure customers.

Hannah Ahmad and Jacob Kennerly both won the Alwin Thompson Award, and Andy Brooks and Ellen McDowall shared the David Hopkins Award, which are presented in honour of two former Life Leisure Chairs and respected Stockport businessmen.

Team of the year was awarded to the emergency swimming task team who went above and beyond to ensure swimming lessons and session could continue following the unforeseen closure of two swimming pools at two centres.

Five further winners were chosen due to their individual approaches to the centre’s five WATCH principles – Winner, Authentic, Together, Caring and Happy, which staff are encouraged to follow. They were awarded to Kath Kinsley-Jones, Alastair Dixon, Sarah Potter, Leigh Appleton, and Kelly Hadfield respectively.

Malcom added: “This whole night was a fantastic success. It was emotional, but it was also full of joy as we celebrated our phenomenal team and showed all our staff how valued and important they are to us and our success as a business.”

Life Leisure is a not-for-profit sports and leisure company which runs 12 facilities across the town and a 13th in the Lake District.