PARC wins Australasian Leisure Management Award

alm award

Peninsula Leisure’s crisis response secures industry communication and marketing award.


The response by facility management company Peninsula Leisure to an October 2017 crisis has been recognised in the third Australasian Leisure Management Communication and Marketing Awards.

Named as the recipient of the 2018 Crisis Communications Award, the award recognises Peninsula Leisure’s team for successfully managing a crisis at the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC) that posed a significant disruption to business.

A critical malfunction within the pool infrastructure led to the closure of PARC’s 50 metre pool, learn-to- swim pool and aquatic playground for eight weeks prior to Christmas.

While the impact was evident in post event customer surveys, a 79% positive rating from 950 respondents was recorded with the mean response as ‘extremely satisfied’ (10/10) when asked how Peninsula Leisure (PL) handled the closure.

The crisis commenced when a malfunction was first detected on Friday 13th October 2017 through scheduled early morning inspection. The anomaly was immediately reported to the pool duty manager and operations manager.

After initial inspection, the Chief Executive Tim Gledhill and General Manager Simon Beqir were notified of a potential crisis and within 30 minutes the crisis management team – consisting of Gledhill and Beqir along with the facility’s operations manager, marketing manager, digital marketing coordinator and swim school manager – convened to determine the immediate actions.

These were:

  1. Initial assessment: An expert pump engineer was engaged to investigate the issues.
  2. A holding statement was formulated to notify staff and customers of the immediate pool closure during the investigation phase. By the afternoon the investigation revealed that the malfunction was critical and the crisis would soon escalate with a closure for several days, possibly weeks imminent. An approved holding statement was posted on social media notifying customers of events with Gledhill and Beqir assuming the roles of media spokesperson and backup spokesperson.
  3. Crisis communications planning: Within 24 hours the marketing team got to work formulating a Crisis Communication Action Plan.
  • A crisis phone line was set up, speaking points and release statements for media were prepared and enquiries on social media were responded to.
  • Gledhill notified senior stakeholders: the PL Board, Frankston City Council and PL’s Chair.
  • Staff were notified on the communications platform (OneLan) with instructions to refer enquiries to the crisis media contact number. Staff were instructed to not comment on social media during this time.
  • All PARC members were emailed.
  • Centre signage was developed for casual users.
  1. Business continuity: Beqir held meetings with area team leaders to understand the scope of interruptions to business and continuity planning: birthday party bookings were rescheduled, schools were notified, all learn-to-swim, aquatic and complete members were emailed and telephoned.
  2. Contingency planning: As the crisis dragged into the second week, a contingency plan was developed to divert customers to a nearby outdoor seasonal facility. The Pines Forest Aquatic Centre was opened one month early with free entry for PARC members. PARC’s gym and spa remained open. Fees were suspended for swim members.
  3. Ongoing communications: The communications team implemented updates each week of the crisis for eight weeks. Approved messages, were delivered to staff, members, casual users, stakeholders and media. Management ran a series of face to face meetings for members to keep them informed.
  4. Recovery: The crisis was finally resolved on Dec 10th. Re-opening messages were delivered via email, social media, staff were thanked through OneLan while door signage announced ‘We are open’.

The recovery plan targeted each customer segment with:

  • Media advertising in local papers with editorial thank you message.
  • A free breakfast for aquatic members and follow up community BBQ.
  • Personal postcard thanking members with a free coffee.
  • Summer on us campaign for new members: ‘Join now and don’t pay until 22 Jan’.
  • Group Exercise: 24 Classes of Christmas to encourage consistent participation.
  1. Satisfaction surveys: Post-event surveys were delivered to members and casual users. Questions addressing staff handling of the situation (speed, level of detail, solutions) averaged 7.9/10 with the mean response as ‘Extremely satisfied’. PARCs transparency and willingness to engage with members was a key contributor to satisfaction.


Announcing the Award, Nigel Benton, Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, stated “receiving an Award for dealing with a crisis may seem like a barbed compliment, but, this Award is emphatically not such a thing.

“It is inevitable that a crisis will occur in any business or organisation and what this Award seeks to do is recognise how communications are handled when that happens.

“At worst poor communications management of a crisis can have a massive negative impact on a business while, at best, as we can see with how Peninsula Leisure handled this challenge, can generate customer satisfaction and enhancement of and confidence in a brand.”

Being presented for a third time this year, the Australasian Leisure Management Communication and Marketing Awards recognise excellence in communication and marketing in all sectors of the leisure industry – aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues – in Australia and New Zealand.

Beyond announcement of the recipients, the Awards will be presented in a series of one-on-one meetings over the coming weeks.

For images and more information contact Nigel Benton, Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management on 0411 551 731, E:


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We've truly got some amazing members here at PARC!

Absolutely impressive from Rowland here who at the young age of 78 smashed out a plank time of 11 minutes and 9 seconds during our My Purpose Challenge!

Let's also give a huge shoutout to all our winners of the extra gym challenges below!

🥇 🚴‍♀️Highest RPM: Harry B - 162 rpm
🥇 💪 Pull Ups: Cayden H - 20 pull ups
🥇 🙌 Deadhang: Manny - 2:41 minutes
🥇 🏋️‍♂️ Plank: Rob - 12:07 minutes
🥇 ⛷ Distance on the Skierg: John G - 259 metres

Huge achievements all round, go PARC fam!

 #parcfrankston #frankston #frankstoncity #frankstonnorth #frankstonbeach #mornington #morningtonpeninsula #gymchallenge #gymchallenge #gymchallenges #plankchallenge #pullupchallenge #pullupchallenge #mypurpose
⭐ Pyjama Day at PARC Childcare ⭐️

Our Childcare team and kids stayed cosy today by wearing their pyjamas to help raise funds for children in foster care. 🧸

The money raised today will help the Pyjama Foundation empower children in foster care as they provide important learning skills to children living in out-of-home care and fund educational resources.

It was a fun day for the Childcare team and our littlest PARC members, who enjoyed hanging out in their comfy pyjamas while raising awareness for such an important cause. 💛

 #parcfrankston #frankston #FrankstonCity #frankstoncity #frankstonsouth #nationalpyjamaday #pyjamaday #childcarelife #childcareproviders #childcareadventures
💪 Small Group Training Come and Try this Saturday 20 July 💪

We’ve added 2 more sessions due to popular demand! Come down this Saturday and meet the team at our Small Group Training sessions at 8am or 9am. 🤩

Try our semi-personal group training delivered by our experienced PARC personal trainers you know and love. ❤️

Book now via our member portal in the link in our bio. 📎

#parcfrankston #frankston #frankstoncity #smallgrouptraining #personaltraininggym #comeandtry #gymwork #mornington
Our limited edition PARC hoodies are still available! 🤩

Whether you’re working out, chilling at home, or just out and about, these hoodies are the perfect addition to your winter wardrobe. 🙌

We have limited stock available so be sure to get yours before they’re gone. 💨

#parcfrankston #frankston #frankstoncity #frankstonbeach #mypurpose #merchdesign #merchdrop #mornington
A huge thank you to all our incredible members who participated in the PARC My Purpose Challenge! 🎉 

Your dedication and motivation to complete the Challenge was inspiring, we hope you all had fun and were able to find your Purpose at PARC this winter. We appreciate everyone who got involved, and to those who participated in our extra Gym challenges.

We're excited to announce that the winners of the 100 PARC Sports Bags have been drawn! 🏆 Please check your email to see if you're one of the lucky winners. Only successful bag winners will receive an email. 

Thank you for being a part of the PARC My Purpose Challenge. Keep pushing towards your goals and stay motivated. 
Well done you, keep it up! 💪 
#PARCfrankston #frankston #frankstoncity #frankstonsouth #frankstonbeach #mypurpose #gymchallenge #gymwin #prizedraw
Thank you for your patience as we underwent essential and planned maintenance and replacement works in the Main Pool Hall. We can confirm that the pool is back open, and operating as normal.

There are still some impacted services, see which services remained impacted below:

✅ Main Pool
✅ Leisure / Learn to Swim Pool
✅ Toddler Pool
✅ Warm Water Pool
✅ Sauna, Steam Room and Spa

❌ Aquatic Playground - expected reopen 29 July
❌ Waterslides - expected reopen 29 July
❌ Cafe - expected reopen to be advised

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to enhance your PARC experience. 

 #parcfrankston #frankston #frankstoncity #frankstonsouth #maintenancematters #closures #reopen #works
❗Cafe Closure ❗️

Due to reactive maintenance we will unfortunately be closing our cafe until further notice.

If you usually grab your coffee or snack at the Café during your visit, please make other arrangements.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience, and thank you for your ongoing understanding.

 #parcfrankston #frankston #frankstoncity #frankstonsouth #frankstonnorth #cafè #café #closure #reactivemaintenance

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