SLSNZ Announces Winners of Canterbury Awards of Excellence

Monday, 1 January 0001

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is proud to announce the winners of the Canterbury Awards of Excellence.


Held on Saturday, 18 May at the Turanga Library in Christchurch, the awards acknowledged the incredible skills, commitment, and effort by surf lifeguards, as well as those who educated others, managed administration, and participated in lifesaving sport throughout the 2023/2024 season.


Stu Bryce, SLSNZ Southern Regional Manager, said, “Congratulations to all the winners of the Canterbury Awards of Excellence.  It was a fantastic and inspiring night as we celebrated and reflected with clubs from around Te Waipounamu. 


“It was a busy season for our clubs, with fine weather bringing thousands of people to the beach, national and regional sporting events, and plenty of educational and training programmes, but everyone rallied together to get the best outcome.”


Linda Poulsen from Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) won NZ Lottery Grants Board Volunteer of the Year.  She holds numerous positions at the club, including Surf Lifeguard Manager and Club Captain.  She is also a Patrol Captain, Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) driver, Search and Rescue Squad member, examiner, and instructor.


Troy Reed, Spencer Park SLSC President, said, “Linda’s dedication, tireless efforts, and remarkable contributions embody volunteerism and community service.  She’s a cornerstone of our club, dedicating countless hours to our members and members from around the region. 


“From organising training sessions to coordinating patrols and participating in and helping organise regional events, Linda goes above and beyond.  What sets her apart is not just her commitment, but also her infectious enthusiasm and unwavering positivity.”


Thomas McIntyre from Spencer Park SLSC won DHL Surf Lifeguard of the Yea.  He’s only been involved with surf lifesaving for a few seasons but is already a Patrol Captain and is involved in lifesaving sport, IRB racing, and IRB instructing.


Zeke de Gouw, Spencer Park SLSC Committee Member, said, “Tommy stands out because despite being somewhat new to surf lifesaving, he has already made a name for himself and displays the ‘In It For Life’ motto on a daily basis.  He also has such a willingness to improve and upskill.”


De Gouw said Spencer Park SLSC is incredibly proud to have him on their team, “Every week Tommy’s actions make our club proud.  Travelling up and down the beaches of Christchurch, you get talking with other clubs and their members, and everyone seems to have had an encounter with this young lad.  He somehow seems to have an impact on those around him – the sign of a highly influential surf lifeguard.”


The Canterbury Awards of Excellence brought together Surf Life Saving clubs from across the South Island, including Nelson, Rārangi, Buller, Kōtuku, Waikuku Beach, Spencer Park, Waimairi, North Beach, New Brighton, South Brighton, Sumner, and Taylors Mistake.



Full List of Winners:


Southern Region Pool Rescue Championships - Senior

Sumner SLSC


Southern Region Pool Rescue Championships – Junior

South Brighton SLSC


Southern Region Pool Rescue Championships – Overall

South Brighton SLSC


Canterbury Championships

Taylors Mistake SLSC


Canterbury Junior Championships

South Brighton SLSC


Canterbury Championships – Top Athlete

Lucy Stroud – Taylors Mistake


Canterbury IRB Championships

Spencer Park SLSC


Southern Region Championships

South Brighton SLSC


Southern Region Junior Championships

Sumner SLSC


Surf Sports Official of the Year

Tesimale Ah Kuoi – South Brighton


Event Safety Contribution of the Year

Tim Harris – North Beach


Junior Surf Contribution of the Year

Julie Jorgensen – South Brighton


Junior Surf Coach of the Year

Monty Hodge – South Brighton


Surf Coach of the Year

Dean Isherwood – New Brighton


Surf Sports Team of the Year

Taylors Mistake U19 Female Taplin & Ski Relay


Surf Sports Team of the Year – Large Craft

New Brighton Open Female Surf Boat


Surf Sportswoman of the Year

Chloe Ah Kuoi – South Brighton


Surf Sportsman of the Year

Hugo Wrathall - Waimairi


Beach Education Instructor of the Year

James Lilburne – Waimairi


Regional Lifeguard of the Year

James Lilburne – Waimairi


bp Search and Rescue Contribution of the Year

Tom Denman – Sumner


bp Powercraft Contribution of the Year

Dean Le Warne – North Beach


Instructor of the Year

Per Tonascia – Sumner


Examiner of the Year

Aogan McGuinness – Waimairi


Rescue of the Year

Nelson SLSC


Rookie Lifeguard of the Year

Gus McPherson – Spencer Park

Holly Bryce – Sumner


DHL U19 Lifeguard of the Year

Marcus Jorgensen – South Brighton


DHL Patrol Support of the Year

Andrea Hale – North Beach


DHL Surf Lifeguard of the Year

Thomas McIntyre – Spencer Park


Innovation Award

Community Beach Day – Sumner


NZ Lottery Grants Board Volunteer of the Year

Linda Poulsen – Spencer Park


Rookie Competition Top Club

Sumner SLSC


Club of the Year

Spencer Park


Patrol Club of the Year