Olympic base in the headlines

John Tweed, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), recently collected an International Architecture Award on behalf of the Academy.  The award ceremony formed part of the 21st IAKS Congress in conjunction with FSB – International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities in Cologne.  

In July the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS), the only organisation for sports facilities recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that the WPNSA had been awarded the ‘IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility 2009′.

The ceremony was the undisputed highlight of the IAKS congress.  The successful awards programme has been running for 20 years and now includes the most important globally recognised architectural award for sport and leisure facilities.  During 2009 these unique awards attracted entries from 14 different countries with 54 entries being received for the ‘IPC/IAKS Distinction Award’.  The award is aimed at increasing the accessibility of all sports facilities and architectural projects in order to give opportunities to persons with disability to practise and view sport freely and without barriers.

Fully inclusive access to the venue was a huge influence in the development of the purpose built WPNSA facilties, with disabled access hoists on the pontoons providing the safest access to tidal waters for people with disabilities anywhere in the UK.

WPNSA won the distinguished award alongside other prestigious international sports venues including; The Beijing Olympic Stadium – China, La Molina Ski Resort – Spain, Moscow Region Speed Skating Center Kolomna, Colomna – Russia and The National Tennis Centre, London – UK.

John Tweed, Chief Executive, WPNSA, commented ‘I am very honoured to have collected this prestigious award on behalf of that the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and Faulkner Brown Architects.  It is a delight that the Academy has been chosen to receive this architectural award recognised globally by the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee.  We hold accessibility for persons with disabilities to our venue extremely highly as everyone who wishes to experience a water based sport should feel free to do so without barriers’.