Surf lifeguards who patrol beaches across the Gisborne/Tairāwhiti region have been honoured for their hard work and dedication to saving lives on their local beaches at the 2015 Gisborne/Tairāwhiti Awards of Excellence.
The celebration of surf lifesaving took place last night at the Gisborne-Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club.
One of the night's top awards, Lifeguard of the Year, was awarded to Samuel Teteina from Midway Surf Life Saving Club.
The purpose of this award is to recognise a member who has made an outstanding contribution to the delivery and development of drowning prevention services for SLSNZ. It is aimed at active surf lifeguards undertaking lifeguarding duties.
Renee Wikaire, SLSNZ Club Support Manager for Gisborne, says Sam has been a lifeguard for five years and has moved up the ranks from a Rookie to a senior lifeguard. "As the club's Patrol Captain, Sam shows a great deal of initiative and leadership towards his fellow lifeguards and, as well as his club duties, he volunteered over 55 hours in the past season. He is a well-respected member of his club and local lifesaving community," she says.
Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Tracy Low from Wainui Surf Life Saving Club.
The purpose of this award is to recognise an outstanding member who has made a significant volunteer contribution to enhancing surf lifesaving within their local area during the 2014/2015 season.
Ms Wikaire says it takes a lot of commitment to be a volunteer and Tracy manages to wear a number of hats within her club. "Tracy is a Committee member, Local Lifesaving Committee member, takes care of the first aid supplies and refresher programmes and also managed an area for the club at the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships and Eastern Region Championships.
Sam and Tracy will go on to be finalists in the national Awards of Excellence, being held in Wellington in September.
Rescue of the Year was awarded to Jara Swann from Ngāti Porou SLSC for a rescue that took place at Onepoto Beach, Hicks Bay on October 2, 2014.
Three children had been body boarding when a large wave came in and swept them into a rip at the southern end of the beach. Their father was able to get two children to safety and off-duty lifeguard Jara Swann paddled out in large surf to rescue the child and bring him back to the safety of the beach.
Overall Club of the Year and Patrol Club of the Year was awarded to Midway Surf Life Saving Club.
Surf Life Saving Clubs in the Gisborne/Tairāwhiti area include Uawa Tiaki Tai-Tolaga Bay, Wainui, Waikanae, Midway and Ngāti Porou. Together, they undertook 18 rescues in the 2014/15 season.
Click here to view some photos from the evening.
Full list of award winners:
• Lifeguard of the Year: Samuel Teteina (Midway)
• Patrol Captain of the Year: Samuel Teteina (Midway)
• Instructor of the Year: Diego Pedrioli (Midway)
• Examiner of the Year: Diego Pedrioli (Midway)
• Volunteer of the Year: Tracy Low (Wainui)
• Rescue of the Year: Jara Swann- Ngāti Porou SLSC
• Innovation of the Year: Ngāti Porou SLSC (community based surf life saving practices, including roving patrol)
• Patrol Club of the Year: Midway SLSC
• Overall Club of the Year: Midway SLSC
• Emerging Coach of the Year: Calum Wilson (Waikanae)
• Coach of the Year: Matt Sutton (Midway)
• Official of the Year: Debbie Hutchings (Waikanae)
• Sports Team of the Year: Midway Beach Relay Team- Hayley Rogers, Sophie Twigley, Alex Bermingham, Tyler Burgess
• Sportsperson of the Year: U14 female: Saff Vette (Wainui)
• Sportsperson of the Year: U14 male: Michael Pickett (Waikanae)
• Sportsperson of the Year: U16 female: Olivia Corrin (Midway)
• Sportsperson of the Year: U16 male: Blake Brown (Midway)
• Sportsperson of the Year: U19 female: Jasmine Smith (Midway)
• Sportsperson of the Year: U19 male: Matt Scott (Midway)
• Sportsperson of the Year: open female: Devon Halligan (Midway)
• Sportsperson of the Year: open male: Cory Taylor (Midway)
• Sportsperson of the Year: masters female: Michelle Mitchell (Waikanae)
• Sportsperson of the Year: masters male: Adam Tate (Waikanae)
• International Sports Performance: Cory Taylor (Midway)
Distinguished Service Award:
• Debbie Hutchings (Waikanae)
Winners of the Rescue of the Year award, Jara Swann and Ngāti Porou SLSC.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823