The annual Zespri Bay of Plenty & Coromandel Regional Awards of Excellence have seen just over 40 awards presented to surf lifeguards and club members for their tireless efforts over the 2017-18 patrol season.
Held as part of Surf Life Saving New Zealand's (SLSNZ) awards season, every Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) from around Bay of Plenty and Coromandel took part in the event held this year in Mt Maunganui with over 230 attendees.
There were a large number of nominations received for all of the main categories, with a great spread of clubs from around the region taking home top awards.
Both Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) and Waihi Beach Lifeguard Service (LGS) took home six awards each, showing how strong clubs are in both Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.
Interestingly, it was these two clubs that took home the Zespri Overall Club of the Year for their respective area; Papamoa SLSC for Bay of Plenty and Waihi Beach LGS for Coromandel.
Bryn Gault of Opotiki SLSC took home the Bay of Plenty Emerging Under-19 [year-old] Volunteer Lifeguard of the year award for his significant contribution to lifesaving both on and off the beach. Bryn's dedication and passion for surf lifesaving has seen him travel around the country for training and courses, to develop his knowledge and skills, which he then takes back to his club to mentor and develop other young lifeguards.
His counterpart Matthew Lloyd of Waihi Beach LGS, took home the Coromandel version of the award for his level of involvement at both club and regional level. Matthew completed over 200 patrolling hours as well as participating in the Zespri Intermediate Lifeguard School. He also plays a key role within his club helping with the Instruction and Teaching of Rookie Lifeguard and Surf Lifeguard Award candidates.
However, one of the most prestigious awards of the evening, the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Pacific Medicare Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year awards went to Haven Bellamy (Omanu Beach SLSC) and James Lloyd (Waihi Beach LGS) respectively.
Haven took home the award for his efforts throughout the season, putting in a lot of time behind the scenes instructing at both local and regional surf lifeguard and Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) development camps. Haven also found time in his hectic schedule to upskill, while also being named as the top candidate at the National Lifeguard School.
James Lloyd also dedicated his time to keeping people safe throughout the year and won the award for his work on the local lifesaving committee where he held the Lead Patrol Auditor portfolio as well as Head Instructor on the Zespri Intermediate Lifeguard School. James also played a key role in a number of search and rescue operations in the Coromandel area over the season.
SLSNZ Eastern Region Manager, Chris Emmett, said it was a successful night and thanked everyone for making the effort to attend.
"We are so proud to hear all the stories and successes from around the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel. It was fantastic to see everyone from our lifeguards to coaches, sports people and everyone in between celebrated for their efforts throughout the year.
A lot of people don't understand that putting up flags up at our beaches, takes a lot of time, effort and passion from a lot of people who are mainly volunteers, and it's nice to acknowledge everyone who makes that happen."
"It was also fantastic to see so many clubs represented at the awards tonight, and to have our partner Zespri join us. Zespri have created so many incredible opportunities for our members this year and it was great for them to share stories and the odd laugh together."
Every year, regional Awards of Excellence ceremonies are held around the country to officially recognise members for their hard work and dedication to Surf Life Saving in New Zealand before culminating at the National Awards of Excellence held this year in Auckland.
To stay up to date with Bay of Plenty-Coromandel awards, or any other lifesaving news from the area, follow the SLSNZ Eastern Region Facebook page.
Zespri Bay of Plenty & Coromandel winners:
Emerging Coach of the Year
Campbell Reid - Whakatane SLSC
Coach of the Year
Matthew Cairns - Papamoa SLSC
McLeod Emerging Official of the Year
Linda Castle - Papamoa SLSC
McLeod Official of the Year
Greg Rieger - Mt Maunganui LGS
Sports Team of the Year
Papamoa Open Women Pool Relay Team - Papamoa SLSC
Sports Person of the Year - Under-14 Male
Braith Swanberg - Omanu Beach SLSC
Sports Person of the Year - Under-14 Female
Mia Gardiner - Mt Maunganui LGS
Sports Person of the Year - Under-16 Male
Daniel Shanahan - Mt Maunganui LGS
Sports Person of the Year - Under-16 Female
Molly Shivnan - Omanu Beach SLSC
Sports Person of the Year - Under-19 Male
Lochlainn O'Connor - Mt Maunganui LGS
Sports Person of the Year - Under-19 Female
Libby Bradley - Mt Maunganui LS
Sports Person of the Year - Open Male
Jake Hales - Papamoa SLSC
Sports Person of the Year - Open Female
Natalie Peat - Papamoa SLSC
Sports Person of the Year - Masters Male
Ian Glover - Omanu Beach SLSC
Sports Person of the Year - Masters Female
Naomi Davoren - Papamoa SLSC
International Performance (Indv)
Olivia Eaton - Mt Maunganui LGS
Rookie Lifeguard of the Year
Bree McCowatt - Waihi Beach SLSC
Bay of Plenty Under-19 Lifeguard of the Year
Bryn Gault- Opotiki SLSC
Coromandel Under-19 Lifeguard of the Year
Matthew Lloyd - Waihi Beach LGS
Bay of Plenty Pacific Medicare Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year
Haven Bellamy - Omanu Beach SLSC
Coromandel Pacific Medicare Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year
James Lloyd - Waihi Beach LGS
Bay of Plenty Regional Lifeguard of the Year
Gabriel Puckey-Brockelsby - Omanu Beach SLSC
Coromandel Regional Lifeguard of the Year
Isaac Nicholson - Tairua SLSC
Bay of Plenty Patrol Captain of the Year
Jason Rive - Pukehina SR
Coromandel Patrol Captain of the Year
Chaz Gibbons-Campbell - Whiritoa LGS
Shanae Richardson - Waihi Beach LGS
Bay of Plenty Instructor of the Year
Laura-Lee Boxer-Paki - Pukehina SR
Coromandel Instructor of the Year
Max Jones Whangamata SLSC
Bay of Plenty Beach Ed Instructor of the Year
Adriana Bird - Mt Maunganui LGS
Coromandel Beach Ed Instructor of the Year
Rikayla Richardson - Waihi Beach LGS
Bay of Plenty Examiner of the Year
Boyd Harris - Pukehina SR
Coromandel Examiner of the Year
James Lloyd - Waihi Beach SLSC
Bay of Plenty Volunteer of the Year
Delwyn Buckton - Pukehina SR
Coromandel Volunteer of the Year
Megan Upjohn -Pauanui SLSC
Bay of Plenty - BP Rescue of the Year
Pukehina SR - 11th March 2018 Rescue
Coromandel - BP Rescue of the Year
Whangamata SLSC - 31st March 2018 rescue
Bay of Plenty Patrol Club of the Year
Pukehina SR & Opotiki SLSC
Coromandel Patrol Club of the Year
Bay of Plenty Zespri Club of the Year
Coromandel Zespri Club of the Year
Waihi Beach LS
Eastern Region Service Award
Kerry Barugh - Pukehina SR
Eastern Region Service Award
Mike Hickson - Maketu SLSC
Eastern Region Distinguished Service Award
Donal Boyle - Omanu Beach SLSC
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157