A total of 24 awards have been given to surf lifeguards who have been commended for their remarkable efforts in both lifesaving at local beaches and as sport competitors at tonight's Canterbury-Tasman Awards of Excellence held at Sixty6.
Clubs from right around the region took home awards including Sumner, Waikuku, New Brighton, North Beach, Waimairi, South Brighton, Spencer Park and Taylors Mistake.
Taylors Mistake took home the majority of the awards, being presented with nine of the local awards including the renowned lifeguard of the year, volunteer of the year and mass rescue of the year.
The Taylors Mistake mass rescue saw a team of lifeguards rescue around 12 swimmers from the busy beach, notorious for its rip currents, during a hot day on January 18. It all started when the tide turned and a flash rip was created, taking two groups of swimmers out beyond their depth.
Two rescue boards, 11 rescue tubes and an IRB were involved in the rescue meaning all of the swimmers were safely returned to shore. However, if it wasn't for the quick response and teamwork from the club members on site that day, it is likely there could have been multiple drownings.
Meanwhile, lifeguard of the year was awarded to Patrice de Beer from Taylors Mistake who was awarded the prestigious award for his "exemplary service" including over 55 hours of voluntary patrolling.
Sumner and Waimairi also took home a plethora of awards, taking home a total of five each, including the honour of top club for Waimairi.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Southern Region Manager, Stu Bryce, said it was a great opportunity to celebrate and thank all the lifeguards and club members for their "invaluable contribution" to their communities.
"We are so proud to hear these stories and celebrate the successes of everyone at these awards, from our lifeguards to coaches, sports people and innovators. They all play in vital role on our beaches and it is great being able to acknowledge that."
"It was a busy summer for these clubs because of the long, hot, dry weather we experienced. We had to extend our patrols to keep the public safe and this was our opportunity to give thanks to the lifeguards for making that happen."
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.
Awards of Excellence - Canterbury-Tasman Award Winners
2017/18 Top IRB Club - Sumner
2017/18 Official of the Year
Tania Bailey - Waikuku
2017/18 Event Guard of the Year
Justice Shaw-Cross - Spencer Park
2017/18 Coach of the Year
James Gaskell - New Brighton
2017/18 Sports Team of the Year
Waimairi Open Women's Canoe Team
2017/18 Canterbury Team of the Year
Sumner Under-16 Board Relay Team
2017/18 Te Opepoto Award - Junior Coaching
Adam Leatherland - South Brighton
2017/18 Sports Person of the Year
Louis Clark - Taylors Mistake
2017/18 Innovation of the Year
Dean Le Warne - Board Fins from Milk Bottle Tops (North Beach)
2017/18 Rookie of the Year
Brieanna Cox - Taylors Mistake
2017/18 Regional Guard of the Year
Fraser Smith - Waimairi
2017/18 Instructor of the Year
Linda Poulsen - Spencer Park
2017/18 Lifeguard of the Year
Patrice de Beer - Taylors Mistake
2017/18 Volunteer of the Year
Craig Jamieson - Taylors Mistake
2017/18 Rescue of the Year
Mass Rescue - Taylors Mistake, January 2018
2017/18 Club of the Year
Waimairi Surf Life Saving Club
- Emma Derrick, North Beach
- Dean Isherwood, North Beach
- Morgan Foster, South Brighton
Regional Distinguished Service
- Mike Smith, Taylors Mistake
- Colin Mackenzie, North Beach
- Ken Jones, Taylors Mistake
- Craig Todd, Sumner
Regional Life Membership
- Malcolm McClurg, Taylors Mistake
- Craig Todd, Sumner
Top Under 14 Competitor - Samantha Lascelles (Sumner)
Top Under 14 Pool Competitor - Hugo Wrathall (Waimairi)
Top Under 16 Competitor - Flynn McGuinness (Waimairi)
Top Under 16 Pool Competitor - Thomas MacGibbon (Sumner)
Top Under 19 Competitor - Georgia Stroud (Taylors Mistake)
Top Under 19 Pool Competitor - Louis Clark (Taylors Mistake)
Top Open Competitor - Louis Clark (Taylors Mistake)
Top Open Pool Competitor - Cassie Wright (Sumner)
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157