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Thursday 30 November 2023
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04 May 2023
Rudding Park hosts inaugural UK Aufguss Championships

During 25-26 April, the UK's first-ever national Aufguss Championship contest took place at
luxury UK hotel and destination spa Rudding Park in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Growing in popularity globally, the aufguss sauna ritual involves an aufguss master waving a towel to distribute the sauna’s heat and often essential oils, with corresponding music and lighting. The top sauna masters can get very creative, weaving in storylines, costumes and complex movements to enhance the experience.

After fierce competition, Pavel Poliacek – a sauna master from Galgorm in Northern Ireland – was crowned as the winner of the individual category and the first-ever UK Aufguss Champion. He’ll now go on to represent the UK in the Aufguss World Championships at Satama Sauna Resort in Germany from 11-17 September 2023.

The event drew a large audience of sweat enthusiasts and was comprised of the great and the good from the spa and sauna world, with guests even jetting in from as far as Japan.

Robert Zidek and Eliska Zidek Blazek, world champion aufguss masters from the Czech Republic, also jetted in to perform exhibition aufguss at the two-day event.

The UK championship was judged by:
• Head judge Lasse Eriksen (vice president, Aufguss WM).
• Lay Pang Ong (Art of Aufguss champion).
• Heonsok Kim (vice president of Japan Sauna & Spa Association).
• Deborah Carr (aufguss training provider from Anada Spa and Wellness).

The awards ceremony took place in Rudding Park Chapel and the Rudding Park spa team also had reason to celebrate as its senior spa therapist Jena Robinson placed second in the competition. Robinson will now go on to the next stage of playoffs at Farris Bad in Norway in September.

Renato Neto, Rudding Park spa duty manager, will join Robinson as they take their Team Aufguss performance – ‘a Tribute to Queen Elizabeth’ – to the playoffs.

Sarah Johnson, head of spa at Rudding Park, said: “As the first UK spa to introduce aufguss, we were thrilled to host this prestigious event and it was wonderful to see the creativity and passion of all the competitors.

“Aufguss is an experience we’ve been offering to our guests forseveralf years now and, together with the British Sauna Society we’re keen to increase awareness of the ritual within the industry and to spa-goers throughout the country.”

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27 Nov 2023
Good Spa Guide Awards announces Britain’s top regional spas of 2023
Spas from nine regions across the UK, from Scotland to the West Country, have won accolades in the Regional Good Spa Guide (GSG) Awards 2023.
14 Nov 2023
Echelon Fitness teams up with Run Disney to tap into 170,000 runners
Connected fitness equipment supplier, Echelon, has signed a multi-year deal with Run Disney, the road race division of Disney Sports Enterprises.
13 Nov 2023
Scotland named 2024 Global Wellness Summit host destination
Annual industry event, the Global Wellness Summit (GWS), is headed to the Scottish coastal town of St Andrews in 2024.
08 Nov 2023
GWS celebrates Simone Biles with Debra Simon Award for excellence in mental wellbeing
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has honoured legendary gymnast Simone Biles with the 2023 Debra Simon Award.
07 Nov 2023
Global wellness economy reaches record-breaking $5.6trn – predicted to hit $8.5trn by 2027
The global wellness economy will be worth US$8.5 trillion by 2027, according to new research unveiled by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).
06 Nov 2023
Largest-ever Spa China Summit welcomes global attendees to Manchuria
The 15th annual Spa China Summit was recently held at the Ritz-Carlton in the northern Chinese city of Harbin.
27 Oct 2023
ukactive Awards winners revealed as sector unites in Leeds for a night of celebration
The top operators, suppliers and facilities from across the physical activity sector were celebrated last night (26 October), as the winners of the prestigious ukactive Awards 2023 were announced at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
18 Oct 2023
Great Spa Towns of Europe Association hosts general assembly in Montecatini Terme
The Italian thermal town of Montecatini Terme will welcome 30 delegates from the Great Spa Towns of Europe Association (GSTEA) this week when it hosts the association’s third general assembly of 2023.
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