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Pictured: Chief Executive, Kenneth Lawrie, chats with staff about recent achievements and current challenges facing the Mariner Centre.

A recent award win for the Great Mariner Reef soft play inspired Chief Executive Kenneth Lawrie to visit the Mariner Centre in Camelon.

Having gained a 4-star rating from VisitScotland two years ago, the gold from the Scottish Hospitality Awards gained in June this year highlights just how outstanding the venue’s offering is.

With customer numbers now sitting at 97% of pre-COVID levels, the Mariner, which opened in 1985, retains its position as one of the Council’s most popular leisure facilities.

During Kenneth’s time at the centre, staff members explained the positive impact recent investment has had on the bottom line and – most importantly for them – customer’s health and wellbeing.

Following the visit, Kenneth said:

“The Mariner Centre is a flagship venue for the Council, offering outstanding facilities that continue to draw people from far and wide. But facilities alone do not create customer loyalty. Staff do. People keep returning to the Mariner because they are greeted and taught by passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable people. It is obvious to me that everyone I spoke to is proud to work in the centre. But not only that, they clearly want every member to achieve their fitness goals and every customer to have a memorable time. With staff like that, it is no wonder the venue keeps winning awards.”

Kenneth's visit in pictures

Tricia Frew, Mariner

Health & Fitness instructor, Tricia Frew, teaches Kenneth how to use one of the 12 power-assisted exercise machines in the Shapemaster Hub. Used by customers of all ages who have long-term medical conditions or simply want to become more active, the hub helps people build their confidence as well as fitness levels.

TRIP Class

Keeping on top of global trends in the fitness industry helps our Sports & Leisure Team inspire members and attract new customers. Having their finger on the pulse resulted in the first Les Mills TRIP studio opening in the Mariner Centre in 2020. The impressive facility, which offers cycle-based exercise classes in a VR world, is now used by Les Mills - the global fitness giant - as an exemplar. During his visit Kenneth experienced not only the sights and sounds of a TRIP class but also the feeling of motion caused by the immersive experience.   

Steph Zilliken, Mariner

Steph Zilliken, who has worked at the Mariner as a Health & Fitness instructor since 2007, talks Kenneth through the various new machines and pieces of kit, including the rig, battle rope, sled, curved treadmill, and specialist equipment for wheelchair users. Since the gym’s upgrade two years ago it attracts members of all abilities and ages - from 13-year-olds to over 70s.

Mariner Reef

Having opened in 2018, the Great Mariner Reef soft play has improved the centre’s offering, making it even more attractive to families with young children. Investing £1m in the soft play, café and reception area downstairs created a bright and welcoming space that allowed upstairs to be renovated into new fitness facilities. 

Mariner coffee KL

Rounding off his visit, Kenneth enjoys a coffee from the cafe while listening to staff explain how investment in the venue has helped it retain its popularity in a highly competitive market. He also asked staff to tell him what further improvements they felt needed to be made, stating: “Quite often I get views that are filtered through layers of management, so it is great to hear directly from you.”