Zespri Gisborne/Tairāwhiti Awards of Excellence winners announced

Friday, 25 June 2021

June 25, 2021

Press Release

Zespri Gisborne/Tairāwhiti Awards of Excellence winners announced

Gisborne/Tairāwhiti Surf Life Saving clubs have marked a successful end to the Surf Lifeguarding season and year of achievements with their Awards of Excellence.

The awards acknowledge the work of the volunteers at surf lifesaving clubs at Tolaga Bay, Ngati Porou, Wainui, Waikanae and Midway Surf Life Saving Clubs.

Eastern Region Lifesaving manager Chaz Gibbons-Campbell says the awards recognise the important contribution so many lifeguards make towards keeping our beaches safe.

“It is wonderful that we can recognise some of those who have made a particular contribution but it’s just as important to remember that supporting them are clubs full of volunteers who give up their time to keep the public safe.”

Among those being recognised at the Gisborne/Tairawhiti Awards of Excellence is Andrew Shelton from Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club. He has been named Volunteer Lifeguard of the year in recognition of his many contributions to the club.


Volunteer lifeguard of the year - Andrew Shelton, Waikanae SLSC 


As an avid Patrol member, IRB Instructor, Lifeguard Instructor and Chief IRB Examiner he displays respect to all clubbies while maintaining a professional and positive attitude.

He has contributed to Gisborne/Tairawhiti Area as a Patrol Auditor and volunteered as an Examiner at a number of IRB and Surf Lifeguard Exams.

“His time and effort is hugely appreciated,” Chaz says.

Waikanae Surf Lifesaving Club Nigel Hope plays a significant role as Patrol Coordinator and clubbie and has been named Volunteer of the Year.

He facilitated a successful IRB programme, investing time into each volunteer Surf Lifeguard.

Nigel is also an avid patroller, contributing his knowledge and skill to not only his club, but other clubs in Gisborne Area.  

“He has fantastic leadership, communication and radiates a positive club culture,” Chaz says.


Rescue of the year winners - Connor Mitchell, Andrew Shelton, Michelle Mitchell & Justin Martin of the Character Roofing Gisborne Tairāwhiti Callout Squad


Eastern Region Sports Manager Jackson Edwards says Lifesaving Sport in the Eastern Region had a “fantastic” season with clubs competing well in all Regional events.

Gisborne hosted the North Island IRB Championships which drew in a number of crews from around the country and saw local crews take out a number of placings. It was also a great training opportunity for a number of officials and lifeguards who were undertaking the water safety for the event.

Jackson says Eastern Region is also celebrating the success of the Waikanae U23 IRB Race Team of Connor Mitchell, Oliver Shivnan and Silke McNaught who have been superstars across both regional and national events and taking out Sports Team of the Year at last night’s awards of excellence.

Official of the year, Miah Thorpe, was praised by Edwards for her passion and dedication to her role as an official this year.

“Miah has dedicated a lot of time to officiating this season, she is passionate about officiating and has attended every Carnival that time has permitted.

“She has been mentoring and developing a number of upcoming officials which is a testament to her commitment to furthering Surf Life Saving Sport.”

U15 Female Sports Person of the Year winner Sophie Petro from Midway Surf Lifesaving Club had an impressive year, showing skills in the water at Eastern Region Championships and dominating at the local Gisborne Championships.

U17 Male Sports Person of the Year winner Jack Keepa from Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club showed his aqua skills in the pool taking out a number of gold medals at the National Pool Rescue Championships held in Hamilton.

“its been a funny old season with Covid, but we wanted to acknowledge the International Performance of Cory Taylor from Midway Surf Lifesaving Club who competed in the Australian Nutri-Grain Ironman Series”

International Sports Performance of the Year winner Cory Taylor placed 4th equal on what is one of the toughest surf sport competitions in the world.

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 in Wellington.


Top club of the year - Wainui SLSC


Gisborne/Tairāwhiti Awards of Excellence 2021 Winners

Pacific Medicare Patrol Club of the Year
Wainui SLSC

Zespri Top Club of the Year
Wainui SLSC

Regional Service Awards
Peter Boyd – Wainui SLSC/Ngati Porou SLSC
John Minogue – Wainui SLSC
Salvatore Zame – Wainui SLSC
Calum Wilson – Waikanae SLSC
Andrew Shelton – Waikanae SLSC
Rodney Richards – Waikanae SLSC
Eric Clearwater – Waikanae SLSC
Nigel Hope – Waikanae SLSC
Michelle Mitchell – Waikanae SLSC

Regional Distinguished Service Awards
Belinda Slement – Wainui SLSC
Sonia Keepa – Wainui SLSC
Justin Martin – Wainui SLSC

Frother Junior Lifeguard of the Year
Ella Whibley – Wainui SLSC
Bella Fitzharris-Stevens – Waikanae SLSC

Volunteer of the Year
Nigel Hope – Waikanae SLSC


Lifesaving Awards

Patrol Support of the Year
Tanay Goldsbury – Waikanae SLSC

Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year
Andrew Shelton – Waikanae SLSC

U19 Emerging Lifeguard of the Year   
Theo Weatherley – Wainui SLSC

Regional Lifeguard of the Year  
Luke Whibley – Wainui SLSC

Patrol Captain of the Year         
Adam Glenister – Wainui SLSC

Instructor of the Year
Rodney Richards – Waikanae SLSC

Beach Education Instructor of the Year
John Minogue – Wainui SLSC

Examiner of the Year
Andrew Shelton – Waikanae SLSC 

Rescue of the Year
9th January 2021 Rescue – Connor Mitchell, Andrew Shelton, Michelle Mitchell & Justin Martin of the Character Roofing Gisborne Tairāwhiti Callout Squad


Lifesaving Sport Awards

Emerging Official of the Year
Eric Clearwater – Waikanae SLSC                    

Official of the Year
Miah Thorpe – Midway SLSC

Emerging Coach of the Year
Emily Gillies – Waikanae SLSC

Coach of the Year
Dion Williams – Wainui SLSC

Sportsteam of the Year
Waikanae U23 IRB Race Team Connor Mitchell, Oliver Shivnan & Silke McNaught – Waikanae SLSC


Sportsperson of the Year          

U14 Male
Yahni Brown – Midway SLSC                    

U14 Female
Chloe Kapene – Waikanae SLSC

U15 Male
Jack Lepper – Midway SLSC

U15 Female
Sophie Petro – Midway SLSC

U17 Male
Jack Keepa – Wainui SLSC

U17 Female 
Jessikah Fearnley – Midway SLSC

U19 Male
Nathan Proctor – Waikanae SLSC

U19 Female
Briana Irving – Waikanae SLSC                    

Open Male
Chris Dawson – Midway SLSC

Open Female
Briana Irving – Waikanae SLSC                   

Masters Female
Emily Gillies – Waikanae SLSC

International – Individual
Cory Taylor – Midway SLSC


For more information please contact:

Sonia Keepa
Gisborne/Tairawhiti Club Development Officer
Phone: 021 928 301

Rajal Middleton
Head of Commercial & Marketing
Phone 027 457 1001