Award winner ‘stoked’

Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club volunteer Fiona Wilkinson recently received the Otago-Southland...
Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club volunteer Fiona Wilkinson recently received the Otago-Southland excellence award for volunteer of the year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Local surf lifesaving volunteers have been recognised recently.

The Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club received recognition at the 2024 Otago-Southland Awards of Excellence held in Dunedin.

Club member Fiona Wilkinson received the volunteer of the year award and she was "stoked".

"It was very unexpected so I was pretty excited."

Mrs Wilkinson volunteers in many roles in the club, including as a life guard co-ordinator, a junior coach and an organiser for various events.

She knew she was nominated but was shocked to receive the overall award.

Other winners were Carla Murray, who was named examiner of the year, and some of the club’s junior members, who did well in receiving awards too.

The club was named patrol club of the year.

Between coaching sessions, co-ordinating with other local SLS clubs, recruiting life guards where she can and training, Mrs Wilkinson said it was all about keeping people safe.

"A lot of work goes on to keep the beach and the people on it safe."

She said the club was in need of more volunteers.

"We’re really keen on getting some younger volunteers who can become involved in learning how to volunteer and save lives.

"Youngsters can get to know and understand the club environment and the different ways we contribute to making sure people are safe in ourwaters."

She is excited about the upcoming national surf lifesaving "Oceans 25" competition where the club has six competitors entered.

"It’s nice to be having a bit of a break over winter for the next few months but it will be a big focus of ours to be training for the competitions and general training like maintaining first aid."

"Nothing is ever boring at the club.

"It’s always a good time, and the people we have in the club are fantastic.

"We’re very fortunate to be such a tight-knit club who help each other out.

"It would be better for the public to know they have people close by that can help out so we would definitely be keen for more volunteers."

People could find information on the club’s Facebook page or online if they wanted to know more about being recruited.