National Award Winners 2012

Over 50 of New Zealand's elite surf lifeguards and members were officially recognised today for their hard work and dedication to save lives on New Zealand beaches.

The 2012 DHL In it for Life Awards Luncheon, a celebration of Surf Life Saving, took place today in Wellington today at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Seven recipients were Special Award Winners along with seven Service Award Winners. Five people received Life Membership Awards, celebrating volunteer work spanning many decades. Four received Distinguished Service Awards and 26 long-standing lifeguards were honoured with their 50 year badge acknowledging their amazing contribution to aquatic safety and injury prevention on our beaches. 

The Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service was awarded the Innovation Award for a collaborative project with Unitec which has seen Muriwai lifeguards deliver four modules to students studying towards a Sport & Recreation Diploma. 

The Lifesaving Modules delivered were for the 'Performance Skills for Sport' course and was one of four sports delivered to the Y2 & Y3 students. 

Lindsay Hill from Whangarei Heads VLS won Instructor/Examiner of the Year. He has been very active as a Surf Lifeguard Award examiner and has ensured that all the club members were given all the opportunities on offer throughout the season. 

Zayne Boon from Mairangi Bay SLSC was awarded DHL Surf Official of the Year for his contribution to surf lifesaving that is difficult to capture in one place. At a club level, Zayne has been a mentor and leader to probationary and current surf officials and at a regional level he has officiated at many key events and held the position of Event and Arena Referee at most of these events. On a National scale, Zayne was a judge at Surf League and also held the position of Chief Referee at the 2011/2012 SLSNZ National Championships. 

Midway SLSC member Devon Halligan was awarded DHL International Performance of the Year. She 
has been nominated for her outstanding performance both in New Zealand and Australia. She is currently based on the Gold Coast training with the Manly SLSC with the aim of building on her achievements. 

DHL Coach of the Year went to Mark (Horse) Bourneville from Piha SLSC who continues to make a significant impact at Piha and throughout SLSNZ. 

The Gudsell Trophy was awarded to Red Beach SLSC with the highest number of Surf Lifeguard Awards gained- Red Beach qualified 49 Surf Lifeguard Awards in the 2011-12 season.

Far North Surf Rescue won the London Trophy with the highest number of Surf Lifeguard Awards gained as a ratio of membership: They won the trophy with 750 points (based on nine people qualifying, two instructors from a base 10 qualified and refreshed lifeguards). 

Several members also received recognition for awards they earnt last night at the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Awards of Excellence function. 
Hot Water Beach Surf Life Saving Club chairman Gary Hinds was presented with Lifeguard of the Year. This prestigious award highlights the skill, experience and dedication Gary has given to making his local beach safer. 
Finalists for this award included Ben Flynn from Paekakariki and Lauren Gibbs from Bethells Beach. 

DHL Volunteer of the Year was awarded to St Clair Surf Life Saving Club chairman Antony Mason who embodies everything it takes to be an exemplary volunteer- commitment, passion and unswerving dedication to Surf Life Saving.

A group rescue effort by the Regional Lifeguards at Piha who prevented certain, if not multiple drownings, was named this year's winner. Early in February, with the surf at Piha being 1.5 meters in height and very rough, four individuals waded deep into the water and stepped off into a hole, getting caught in the current. Together the lifeguards managed to reach all the men, one of whom was completely submersed underwater, had drifted in and out of consciousness and required emergency treatment back on shore. 

Special Award Winners

Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service, Innovation of the Year 
Devon Halligan, DHL International Performance of the Year 
Zayne Boon, DHL Official of the Year 
Lindsay Hill, Instructor of the Year 
Mark Bourneville, DHL Coach of the Year 
Far North Surf Rescue, London Trophy, Awarded to the club with most Surf Lifeguard and Instructor Awards in one season per capita of members 
Red Beach SLSC, Gudsell Trophy, Awarded to the club with most Surf Lifeguard Awards in one season.

50 Year Badges

Andy Sekula, Basil Vertongen QSM, Brian Velvin MNZM, Bryan Black, Chris Gurr, Edwin Brown, George Cowper, Grant Rowell, Ian Smith, Ian Watson, Judy Gempton, Ken Griffen, Lance Richards, Laurence (Laurie) Pharo, Mike Harvey, Peter Fitzsimmons OBE, Philip Clark, Rae Simpson, Reginald Harker, Robert Harvey QSO, JP, Stuart Hammond, Valerie Walton, Rocky Hall, Wayne Pritchard, Allister Hunter, Allan Thompson.

Service Awards

Todd Cations-Velvin, Emma Crofskey, Brent Harvey, Richard Whinham, Noel Houston, Paul Kayes and Karel Witten-Hannah.

Distinguished Service Awards

Jim Coe, John Chapman, Paul Kayes and Mark McCarthny.

Life Membership Awards

Graeme Cullen, Grant Crossan, Vaughan Garrett, Neville Nodder and Valda Walsh.