Winners of the SLSNZ Otago/Southland Awards of Excellence Announced

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

The Otago/Southland's Local Awards of Excellence recognise the contribution of the dedicated volunteer Surf Lifeguards, coaches, instructors, and athletes during the 2021-2022 season.

The awards honour the volunteers who have devoted numerous hours to keeping our beaches and people safe and Lifesaving Sport athletes who have shone in competition. The awards event took place last week at the Edgar Centre Dunedin.

Brent Matehaere SLSNZ Otago/Southland Club Development Officer says "The Otago/Southland Awards of Excellence was a great opportunity to recognise all our volunteers from throughout the region who have gone above and beyond to continue to provide club and regional programmes."

He adds, "In terms of the sports side of things, we are really proud to have delivered our full calendar including all four Regional Championship events. I’d also like to thank and give credit to all our volunteers for adapting to the various restrictions they were faced with and finding ways to continue to provide these opportunities and events to all our members."

"Brighton SLSC was named Club of the Year for the second year in a row, this shows the immense amount of effort their volunteers put in this season."

Rebecca Aburn, Chair of Brighton SLSC the Otago/Southland Club of the Year

The honour of Lifeguard of the Year goes to Gabby Trotter from Brighton SLSC. As a Patrol Captain Gabby brought the leadership skills and professionalism she learned as a Lifeguard doing the summer weekday patrols and at the National Guard School over to the weekend patrols. She created efficient, fun patrols which were also educational for the younger guards. This has helped improve the skills of the first and second year Lifeguards over the 2021/22 patrolling season.

Gabby led the instruction of all Surf Lifeguard Award candidates and managed the process throughout the season, actively encouraging members to upskill themselves with the courses available to them. Gabby has also attained multiple awards herself this season, the highlight being her attendance and passing of the National Lifeguard School. She also attended the bp Leaders for Life program this year with the goal of continuing her self-development and bringing her new skillset back to the club. This year Gabby also focused on helping develop a club exchange, so Lifeguards could patrol at different beaches to enhance and develop their skills.

Gabby Trotter, Otago/Southland Lifeguard of the Year from Brighton SLSC

Scott Crosbie is a Life Member of Oreti SLSC and winner of Volunteer of the Year. This year Scott has stepped up managing several key projects that will have a lasting impact on the club. These include the installation of a new environmentally friendly fireplace, overseeing the design and construction of a new caravan that converts into a mobile patrol tower, and planning several other club refurbishment projects. Outside of those projects, Scott continues to be a key member of the club. Scott worked patrols every other weekend this summer due to the loss of Patrol Captains through work-life choices and COVID-19 mandate restrictions, ensuring club patrols were maximised. He also put on a great New Year's feast for the voluntary lifeguards patrolling that day.

Part of this year’s major awards also covers all aspects of Surf Lifesaving Sport to celebrate the officials, coaches and high performance athletes.

Sportsperson of the Year goes to Danyon Noakes of St Kilda SLSC. Danyon had an incredibly consistent season across all disciplines of Surf Sport. He won gold in the Open Male Beach Flags and Beach Sprint at the 2022 Southern Region Championships in Christchurch. He also excels in IRB Racing having won Gold in the U23 Male Mass Rescue, Tube Rescue and Assembly Rescue and Silver in the U23 Male Single Rescue at the 2022 bp Surf Rescue South Island Championships. At the 2022 bp Surf Rescue National Championships, Danyon then went on to place second in the U23 Male Single Rescue and Assembly Rescue, and Bronze in the Mass Rescue and Tube Rescue. These outstanding, and extremely consistent results saw Danyon invited into the NZ IRB High Performance Development Squad training for the 2024 World Championships.

Danyon Noakes, Otago/Southland Sportsperson of the Year from St Kilda SLSC

Surf Life Saving New Zealand 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 for each area are held May through July and precede the National Awards of Excellence which will be held in September. The Canterbury awards are being announced at an event taking place on Saturday 11th June.

Otago/Southland Awards of Excellence Major Winners

Award Category Winner Club
Instructor of the Year Hannah Williams St Clair SLSC
Lifeguard of the Year Gabby Trotter Brighton SLSC
Volunteer of the Year Scott Crosbie Oreti SLSC
Outstanding Contribution to Surf Lifesaving in Otago/Southland Stu Loudon St Kilda SLSC
Sportsperson of the Year Danyon Noakes St Kilda SLSC
Coach of the Year Peter Gibbons & Nic Brice St Kilda SLSC
Club of the Year Brighton SLSC Brighton SLSC

Click here for full details of all the Otago/Southland Awards of Excellence Winners.