Local heroes recognised at Canterbury awards

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Surf lifeguards who patrol beaches across the Canterbury/Tasman region have been honoured for their hard work and dedication to saving lives at the 2015 Canterbury Awards of Excellence.  

The celebration of surf lifesaving took place at The Colombo in Christchurch on Saturday June 6.

One of the night's top awards, Lifeguard of the Year, was awarded to Kate Suter from Sumner 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.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Club Development Officer says Kate is a well-respected lifeguard within her club who has shown a great dedication to patrolling her home beach. She was named Sumner's patroller of the year last season and this season, she completed 74 volunteer hours over 16 patrols- the highest number in the club.

"Receiving Lifeguard of the Year is a huge honour and Kate has shown a great deal of dedication to her club and community," he says.

Kate took over the role of Club Instructor at the beginning of the season, at one stage having 10 candidates at various levels of training. She identified potential instructors in the club and encouraged them to participate in training, with the ultimate goal of up skilling the club as a whole.

"Not content with instructing, Kate also assisted in coaching junior surf groups, along with assisting in training of rookie lifeguards. She has been an ever-present member of the club, always being the first person to offer her time or expertise".

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Tisha Bradley from Taylor's Mistake 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.

It takes a lot of commitment to be a volunteer and Tisha manages to wear a number of hats; having acted as Club Captain, Junior Surf Coordinator and Lifesaving Coordinator, all while completing a high number of patrol hours, competing and coaching.

"As a volunteer, Tisha is an indispensable force within the club, ensuring the high standard of service the club is able produce as well as the promotion of Surf Life Saving and its core values," he says.

Kate and Tisha will go on to be finalists in the national SLSNZ Awards of Excellence, being held in Wellington in September.

Rescue of the Year was awarded to Taylors Mistake for a daring rock rescue on November 10, 2014. Just before 6pm, as Surf Lifeguard Award and IRB training was getting underway, lifeguards were alerted to a young male who was trapped and couldn't move safely from his position. The lifeguards worked to reassure the patient and get him back to safety.

Club of the Year was awarded to Sumner Surf Life Saving Club.

Surf Life Saving Clubs in the Canterbury/Tasman area include Waikuku Bach, Spencer Park, Waimairi, North Beach, New Brighton, South Brighton, Sumner and Taylor's Mistake, Kotuku, Buller, Nelson and Rarangi. Together, they undertook 99 rescues in the 2014/15 season.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Full list of award winners:

Lifeguard of the Year: Kate Suter (Sumner)
Instructor / Examiner of the Year: Bruce Lomax (South Brighton)
Volunteer of the Year: Tisha Bradley (Taylors Mistake)
Rescue of the Year: Taylors Mistake
Club of the year: Sumner
Surf Official of the Year: Lawrence Taylor (Sumner)
Coach of the Year: Jonelle Quane (Sumner)
Sportsperson of the Year: Brittany Tucker (Sumner)
Team of the Year: Sumner Prems IRB Team
Top of Age group sportsperson:
• U14: Brad Austin (Spencer Park)
• U16: Seb Johnson: (Sumner)
• U19: Lydia Johnson (South Brighton) and Brittany Tucker (Sumner)
• Open: Morgan Foster (South Brighton)

Honours and Awards:

Service Awards:
• Mark Cresswell
• Carl Righton
• Quinn Mcnaughton
• Rohan McNaughton
• Sam Baker
• Grant Edwards
• Lynn Smith
• Dean Thomas

Distinguished Service Awards:
• Chris Smith
• Dave Smith
• Kris Black

Life Memberships:
• Malcom MacDonald

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823