Volunteer Surf Lifeguards within the Otago/Southland region who have gone above and beyond in the 2019/2020 surf lifesaving season have been named finalists in Surf Life Saving NZ’s Awards of Excellence.
The nominees cover a range of categories and recognise lifeguards, instructors, volunteers, officials, and life saving sport athletes from Warrington, St Kilda, St Clair, Brighton, Kaka Point and Oreti Surf Life Saving Clubs.
Award winners will be announced on the Southern Region’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/slsnzsouthernregion/ on from Friday July 3 with the winners’ booklet released on Sunday July 5.
Felix Cook, Club Development Officer for Otago/Southland, says despite the weather not playing ball for the majority of summer, lifeguards were kept busy.
“There were 20 rescues, 17 searches and eight major first aid incidents this season.
“Most notable was the four day search for a missing 14-year-old who was tragically lost off the rocks at Second Beach, St Clair.”
Felix says Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Land Search and Rescue volunteers, in collaboration with the Police National Dive Squad, put in a “mammoth effort” to find the teenager’s body and return him to his family.
“This season the Otago/Southland region welcomed 39 new Surf Lifeguards into its membership and saw massive upskilling in the areas of first aid, rock work and leadership with four of the 20 candidates attending National Lifeguard School coming from our region.”
COVID-19 unfortunately saw the 2019/2020 lifesaving sport season cut short, with the two main IRB (inflatable rescue boat) events, the South Island and National IRB Championships, cancelled at short notice.
“While this was disappointing for the athletes that had trained all season for these competitions, they have already turned their heads to planning for next season.”
Felix says the clubs and members had some amazing results elsewhere during the season, including several national titles and medals at Oceans 20 and 2020 TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships.
In addition, St Clair Surf Life Saving Club took out the third annual Coastal IRB Classic Long Haul IRB race from Taieri Mouth to Tomahawk Beach, competing against nine other crews from across the region in outstanding weather.
“None of these events would have been possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of the officials, coaches and athletes in our region,” Felix says.
Surf Life Saving NZ Awards of Excellence are held every year in each SLSNZ region to recognise and celebrate the many club members putting in considerable time, effort and skills at a grass-roots level to make sure Kiwis who head to the beach get home safe.
The regional awards culminate in the National Awards of Excellence which will be held on September 19.
Otago/Southland Awards of Excellence 2020 Nominees
SURF SPORTS AWARDS
Surf Official of the Year
Andrea Christophers – St Clair Surf Life Saving Club
Doug Henderson – Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club
Rebecca Aburn – Brighton Surf Life Saving Club
Event Guard of the Year
Jessica Craik – St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club
Phoebe Aburn – Brighton Surf Life Saving Club
Coach of the Year
Dave McPhee – Brighton Surf Life Saving Club
Isaac Davies – St Clair Surf Life Saving Club
Mark Hastie – Warrington Surf Life Saving Club
Sports Team of the Year
Brighton Surf Life Saving Club U19 Female Canoe Team (Lily Brown, Amelia Lane, Ellen Redfearn, Kate Hanna, Brooke Anderson, Emily Joyce, Luca Burton)
Warrington Surf Life Saving Club Open Female Canoe Team (Rebecca McNaughton, Sarah McNaughton, Charlotte Becconsall-Ryan, Karyn Becconsall-Ryan)
St Clair Surf Life Saving Club U16 Female Surf Teams (Jade Fairweather, Emma Christophers, Grace Creighton, Mereana Martin)
Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club U19 Male Canoe Team (Laytun Lornie, Morgan Greer, Lachlan Stoddart, Struan Campbell)
St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club U19 Male IRB Team (Danyon Noakes, Matt Lloyd, Molly McDowall)
Sports Person of the Year
Sam Stedman – St Clair Surf Life Saving Club
Daynon Noakes – St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club
Innovation of the Year
Brighton Surf Life Saving Club – Online prize giving
Brighton Surf Life Saving Club – Female Mentoring
Otago Search & Rescue Team - Use of drones, dye and diving equipment at the St Clair search
Volunteer of the Year
Max Corboy – St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club
Isaac Davies – St Clair Surf Life Saving Club
Danny Blair - Brighton Surf Life Saving Club
Nyree Dickie – Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club
Timothy Ball – Oreti Surf Life Saving Club
Regional Lifeguard of the Year
Sarah McNaughton – Warrington Surf Life Saving Club
Jackson Aluesi – St Clair Surf Life Saving Club
Gabby Trotter – Brighton Surf Life Saving Club
Beach Education Instructor of the Year
Gabby Trotter, Brighton SLSC
Millie Johnston, South Brighton SLSC
Carina Donegan, St Clair SLSC
Jody Mowat, St Kilda SLSC
Instructor of the Year
Sarah Ball – Oreti Surf Life Saving Club
Rebecca McNaughton – Warrington Surf Life Saving Club
To view the digital flip book with the full list of nominees for Otago/Southland, click here.
For more information please contact:
Southern Regional Manager
Phone: 027 557 1012
Club Development Officer – Otago/Southland
Phone: 021 022 08310
Head of Commercial & Marketing
Phone 027 457 1001