GLL’s Mark Sesnan awarded OBE for services to the leisure industry

By Tom Walker    12 Jan 2022

GLL CEO, Mark Sesnan, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

The co-founder and CEO received the honour for services to the UK leisure industry

Founded in 1993, GLL operates more than 300 public leisure centres

Sesnan was also the driving force behind the GLL Sports Foundation

Mark Sesnan, co-founder and CEO of GLL, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List 2022.

Sesnan founded the social enterprise in 1993 and has been instrumental in growing it into one of the UK’s largest operators of public leisure facilities, was given the award for services to the UK leisure industry.

GLL operates more than 300 public leisure centres, libraries and children centres and has an annual turnover of nearly £300m.

In 2008, Sesnan led the founding of the GLL Sports Foundation, created to provide financial and practical support to talented young athletes across all Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. Since its launch the foundation has invested over £10m, helping the nation’s next generation of sporting talent.

During the pandemic lockdowns, Sesnan – who is also a board member of both UKActive and Community Leisure UK – led efforts to utilise the GLL portfolio of sites for the common good, with GLL’s leisure facilities being used as food banks, Nightingale Hospitals and vaccination centres.

Gareth Kirk, chair of GLL Society, said: “Mark has dedicated his life to GLL and the social enterprise movement in the UK.

“He is known by every GLL society member and has a strong personal connection with staff across all corners of the UK.

“Mark leads the team with the same socially-driven purpose and goals in today’s business environment as he did 28 years ago, when the organisation was founded. While the core values of the organisation have remained strong and stable, the level of growth and diversification has been groundbreaking.

“On behalf of all GLL society members I’d like to congratulate Mark for this well-deserved achievement.”

The OBE makes Sesnan an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, an award given by Queen Elizabeth II.

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