Surf Life Saving New Zealand Announces Winners of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti Awards of Excellence

Monday, 12 June 2023

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is proud to announce the winners of its Gisborne-Tairāwhiti Awards of Excellence for the 2022/23 season.  These individuals have made significant contributions and demonstrated unwavering dedication to their roles within SLSNZ.


Ana Naden from Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC), took home the Pacific Medicare Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year Award.  Her effective leadership style has created a fun and engaging environment that has made her team members reluctant to change groups.  They feel valued and appreciate their time spent on patrol.


Naden is also confident and friendly when engaging with the public while on patrol.  She takes the initiative to speak with beachgoers, directing them away from unsafe areas and guiding them to swim between the flags.  Naden has also fostered strong relationships with neighbouring patrols, promoting a cohesive patrol environment. 


Her background as a health practitioner brings valuable knowledge to her role on patrol, and she takes on the role of mentor to young inflatable rescue boat (IRB) drivers.  Her kind and patient teaching style, combined with her proactive approach to encouraging younger members, strengthens the future of the Waikanae SLSC.


Nigel Hope, Waikanae SLSC Patrol Coordinator, said, “Ana is quickly becoming an incredible asset to the club and the movement.  She grabs any opportunity to further her skill and develop her knowledge but she also goes a step further in sharing that knowledge and applying it to her club’s benefit.”


Adam Glenister from Wainui SLSC was honoured with the Volunteer of the Year Award.  In September, he took on the role of club chair and exhibited maturity and levelheadedness in leading his patrol and the club. 


Glenister completed 18 hours of patrol during the 2022/23 season, and as a member of the Gisborne Search and Rescue (SAR) squad, he participated in around 10 different call-out jobs.  One notable example was coordinating rescue efforts during Cyclone Gabrielle.  He checked properties and helped rescue those stranded, despite incredibly trying circumstances with no phone or internet connection.


He also contributes a lot to the running and leadership of the club.  He actively participates in regional and national chair meetings, as well as regular club committee meetings, which require a considerable amount of time and commitment.


Belinda Slement, Wainui SLSC Director of Lifesaving, said, “The amount of ‘unseen’ time Adam puts into the club and local SAR area is truly remarkable.  He is a valued member, and he should be acknowledged for all this work”.


Dion Williams, from Wainui SLSC, was crowned Surf Official of the Year.  He’s shown tremendous commitment to lifesaving sport, not only in coaching but also in training and management.  He’s also taken on a number of leadership roles in the Gisborne region and is a long-term active member of the National Sport Committee.


Williams also has a strong desire to contribute to events and further his personal growth within the sport.  He’s attended a diverse range of courses and events, covering IRBs, pool championships, and beach championships, showing his unwavering drive to expand his knowledge and skills.


Slement said, “Dion has made a major contribution to officiating this season and sport in general. All of this on top of a job, as a laboratory field technician, and family life. He is not only an asset to Wainui SLSC and the Gisborne region, but as a national official.”


Jack Gavin, from Midway SLSC, took out the Coach of the Year award. After a testing summer season which hampered training efforts, Jack was able to adapt his training plans to ensure both senior and junior athletes were prepared for their events taking home a number of medals at local, regional and national events.


Gavin’s successful 2022/23 season as head coach was recognised with his team winning back the local Ralph Morse Shield, placing a credible 3rd place at the NZ SLS National Championships, and having 7 of his athletes named in NZ high performance squads.


Jared Phelps, Midway SLSC Surf Sports Convenor, said, “In true Jack style he has hit the ground running at a thousand miles an hour since taking charge of the Midway training squads last season and he hasn’t slowed since! Jack’s style of coaching has been instrumental in helping the Midway athletes grow and develop both on and off the water.”


Avan Polo, SLSNZ Eastern Region Manager, said, “These individuals represent the true spirit of SLSNZ, and their accomplishments inspire us all.  We would like to congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition and their contributions to SLSNZ.”


The Gisborne-Tairāwhiti awards brought together SLSC’s from across the area, including Wainui, Waikanae, Midway, Ūawa Tiaki Tai - Tolaga Bay, Ngati Porou and Pukehina.


Winners of the Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year, Patrol Support Person of the Year, Instructor of the Year, Coach of the Year, Surf Official of the year, and Volunteer of the Year will go forward as finalists at the SLSNZ National Awards of Excellence which will take place on 23 September at Te Papa in Wellington. 


NOTE:  This media release is subject to a strict embargo until 10 June, 2023.  The Awards will be held on the night of 9 June, 2023.  No part of this release should be published, distributed, or shared in any form prior to the specified embargo date.


For More Information Please Contact:

Avan Polo – SLSNZ Eastern Region Manager

021 773 542


Full List of Winners:


Service Awards:


Regional Service Award

  • Kevin Weatherley – Wainui SLSC


Regional Distinguished Award

  • Susan Quilter – Wainui SLSC



Lifesaving Awards:


Frother of the Year

  • Else Pauwels – Wainui SLSC
  • Sierra Blumfield – Waikanae SLSC
  • Lilla Hain – Midway SLSC
  • Posey Willock – Midway SLSC


Instructor of the Year

  • Rama Robertson – Midway SLSC


Examiner of the Year

  • Michelle Mitchell – Waikanae SLSC


Beach Education Instructor of the Year

  • Ian Procter – Wainui SLSC


Paid Lifeguard of the Year

  • Boyd Harris – Pukehina Surf Rescue


Patrol Captain of the Year

  • Rama Robertson – Midway SLSC


Patrol Support Person of the Year

  • Glenn Hamblyn – Midway SLSC


Emerging U19 Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year

  • Theo Weatherley – Wainui SLSC


Character Roofing Search and Rescue Team Member of the Year

  • Kevin Weatherly – Wainui SLSC


Pacific Medicare Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year

  • Ana Naden – Waikanae SLSC


Pacific Medicare Patrol Club of the Year

  • Midway SLSC



Sport Awards:


Coaches Commitment Award

  • Charlotte Alexander – Wainui SLSC
  • Lachie Falloon – Waikanae SLSC
  • Jacob Corrin – Midway SLSC


Emerging Coach of the Year

  • Hannah King – Wainui SLSC


Volunteer Coach of the Year

  • Jared Phelps – Midway SLSC


Coach of the Year

  • Jack Gavin – Midway SLSC


Emerging Surf Official of the Year

  • Rachael Matthews – Midway SLSC


Surf Official of the Year

  • Dion Williams – Wainui SLSC


Sports Team of the Year

  • Waikanae U19 Male Board Relay Team - Jack Keepa, Jonty Evans & Lachie Falloon


International Individual Sports Performance of the Year

  • Cory Taylor – Midway SLSC


International Team Sports Performance of the Year

  • NZ Black Fins Open – Chris Dawson & Cory Taylor


U14 Female Sports Person of the Year

  • Georgie Beaufoy – Waikanae SLSC


U14 Male Sports Person of the Year

  • Mako Fukushima-Hall – Wainui SLSC


U15 Female Sports Person of the Year

  • Ella Sutton – Midway SLSC


U15 Male Sports Person of the Year

  • Harry Hayward – Midway SLSC


U17 Female Sports Person of the Year

  • Sophie Petro – Midway SLSC


U17 Male Sports Person of the Year

  • Tyron Evans – Midway SLSC


U19 Female Sports Person of the Year

  • Summer Rolston – Waikanae SLSC


U19 Male Sports Person of the Year

  • Lachie Falloon – Waikanae SLSC


Open Female Sports Person of the Year

  • Olivia Corrin – Midway SLSC


Open Male Sports Person of the Year

  • Oska Smith – Waikanae SLSC



Supreme Awards:


Volunteer of the Year

  • Adam Glenister – Wainui SLSC


Overall Club of the Year

  • Midway SLSC





About Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ):

SLSNZ represents 74 Surf Lifesaving clubs with 18,000+ members, including more than 4,500 volunteer surf lifeguards. Our surf lifeguards patrol over 90 locations each summer, saving hundreds of lives each year, and ensuring thousands return home safe after a day at the beach. Our volunteer search and rescue squads provide emergency call-out rescue services throughout the year across Aotearoa.  We do all this as a charity and rely on the generosity of the public, commercial partners, foundations and trusts for donations and financial contributions.