The annual Otago-Southland Surf Life Saving regional awards of excellence have seen over 10 awards presented to surf lifeguards and club members for their tireless efforts over the 2018-19 patrol season.
Clubs from right around the region took home awards including St Clair, St Kilda, Oreti, and Brighton.
St Clair took home the majority of the awards, being presented with five of the local awards including examiner / instructor of the year along with many sports awards including top sports person, top sports team and top coach of the year.
However, the prestigious lifeguard of the year award was awarded to Peter Gibbons from St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club who received it for unwavering dedication to Surf Life Saving. Peter was celebrated for a multitude of tasks over his 40+ year tenure, including many in the 2017-18 patrol season.
The southern-most club in the country, Oreti Surf Life Saving Club, managed to take home the Volunteer of the Year award with Sarah Ball. She was presented with the award for voluntarily helping her club members attend courses, organising trainings, and helping with transportation to and from competitions, and other Surf Life Saving events, including the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in Gisborne.
Sarah is also a committee member of Oreti Surf Life Saving Club and was "one of the best" beach education instructors over the past season.
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."
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 - Otago-Southland
Otago-Southland - Lifeguard of the Year:
Peter Gibbons, St Kilda
Otago-Southland - Instructor/ Examiner of the
Chris Haig, St Clair
Otago-Southland - Volunteer of the Year:
Sarah Ball, Oreti
Otago-Southland - Innovation of the Year:
Otago-Southland - Regional Lifeguard of the
Blake Porteous, Brighton
Otago-Southland - Rescue of the Year:
Otago Search and Rescue Call Out Team, Taieri Floods.
Otago-Southland - Surf Official of the
David Bourke, St Kilda
Otago-Southland - Coach of the Year:
Isaac Davies, St Clair
Otago-Southland - Event Guard of the
Jackson Aluesi, St Clair
Otago-Southland - Sportsperson of the
Erika Fairweather, St Clair
Otago-Southland - Sports Team of the
U20 Womens IRB Crew, St Clair
Regional Service Awards:
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157