Taranaki lifeguards honoured at awards ceremony

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Opunake lifeguard Michael Corkill took out one of the top honours at last night's Taranaki Award of Excellence as Lifeguard of the Year.

The praise didn't stop there as his club was also awarded Club of the Year for the second year running along with Rescue of the Year.

The celebration of surf lifesaving was held at the Devon Hotel in New Plymouth to honour local club members' hard work and dedication to saving lives in the community over the past season.

Surf Life Saving Clubs in Taranaki include Fitzroy, East End, New Plymouth Old Boys and Opunake.

The purpose of the Lifeguard of the Year award is to recognise a member who has made an outstanding contribution to the delivery and development of drowning prevention services for Surf Life Saving.

Corkill completed 88 recorded patrolling hours throughout the season and averaged 20 hours per week of voluntary non-patrol hours. He held a number of roles including Lifeguard Coordinator, Club Captain, Powercraft Officer and Head Instructor and was responsible for running and coordinating a number of trips as developmental opportunities for lifeguards at the club.

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Darren James from Fitzroy 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 patrol season.

Darren completed 36.5 recorded hours of patrol and took on the role of Vice Patrol Captain, providing a younger, less experienced Patrol Captain with support and guidance. He also led Sunday morning Junior Surf sessions and was involved in officiating at the regional Taranaki carnivals.

Michael and Darren will go on to be finalists in the national Surf Life Saving New Zealand Awards of Excellence, being held in Auckland in September.

Rescue of the Year was awarded to Opunake Surf Life Saving Club for an off duty rescue on February 5. Not long after the day's patrol ended, lifeguards Taine Morgan, Jordan Hooper and Brook Smith went to the aid of two swimmers caught in a rip and brought them back to safety.

There was also a host of other lifesaving and sport awards presented on the night as well as regional Service Awards.

Award winners:

Lifeguard of the Year:
Michael Corkill, Opunake

Volunteer of the Year :
Darren James, Fitzroy

Rescue of the Year:
Opunake- Taine Morgan, Jordan Hooper and Brook Smith

Club of the Year:
Opunake Surf Life Saving Club

Patrol Club of the Year:
East End Surf Life Saving Club

Innovation of the Year:
New Plymouth Old Boys Café (NPOB Executive Committee)

Michael Taylor Award :
Dean Spicer, New Plymouth Old Boys

U19 Sportswoman of the Year:
Claudia Kelly, East End

Sportswoman of the Year:
Claudia Kelly, East End

U19 Sportsman of the Year:
Zac Reid, Fitzroy

Sportsman of the Year:
Javon McCallum, Fitzroy

Sportsperson of the year:
Zac Reid, Fitzroy

U19 Sports Team of the Year:
Taranaki Youth Representative Team

Sports Team of Year:
New Plymouth Old Boys U21 IRB Crew

Coach of the Year:
Joel Meuli, East End

Official of the Year:
Brian Velvin, Fitzroy

Instructor of the Year:
Todd Cations-Velvin, Fitzroy

Taranaki Service Awards:
Darren James, Fitzroy
Wendy Clough, Fitzroy

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 0276 488 823