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The awards on Saturday celebrated volunteers who have gone the extra mile, dedicated numerous hours to their club, and excelled in lifesaving sport.
The volunteers acknowledged in the Canterbury awards are a part of Surf Life Saving Clubs at Nelson, Rarangi, Buller, Kotuku, Waikuku Beach, Spencer Park, Waimairi, North Beach, New Brighton, South Brighton, Sumner and Taylors Mistake.
Southern regional manager Stu Bryce said volunteers “put in a massive workload” throughout the season.
“We congratulate the award winners for going above and beyond to deliver for their local communities and clubs.”
This season, Canterbury lifeguards completed 91 rescues, 208 assists to safety, 44 searches and 33,919 people were involved in 17, 895 preventative actions.
Surf Life Saving NZ southern region sport manager Luke Smith said the volunteers excelled throughout the local calendar, despite a few disruptions due to uncontrollable circumstances.
“A big thank you is needed for all the volunteer officials, event lifeguards, coaches and parents for the countless hours they put in.”
Kristy Cullen from New Brighton Surf Life Saving Club has been named Volunteer of the Year in recognition of her key contributions at a club, regional and national level.
“Kirsty gives up countless hours within her own club, and throughout the region to ensure she can make surf lifesaving as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved. We can’t thank her enough for the countless volunteer hours she put in,” says Luke Smith.
She has contributed to Canterbury as a lifeguard examiner, course facilitator, event water safety co-ordinator and intermediate lifeguard school instructor.
Danny Schefer from Taylors Mistake Surf Life Saving Club has been recognised with the Lifeguard of the Year award for his dedication and commitment.
This past season, he stepped into the role of a club patrol captain, as well as being a head guard for the regional lifeguard period. He recently gained his Advanced Lifeguard Award, which is the highest award available for lifeguards within the Surf Life Saving New Zealand pathway.
“Danny acts as a great role model for the younger lifeguards coming through the same pathway,” says Luke Smith.
Surf Life Saving NZ Awards of Excellence are held every year in each 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 at a later date.
Canterbury Awards of Excellence 2021 Winners
SURF SPORT AWARDS
Surf Official of the Year
Myffy Roberts - New Brighton SLSC
The Shanks Family Event Guard of the Year
Jessica Larson - Sumner SLSC
Coach of the Year
Nick Tremewan - Sumner SLSC
The Leon “Flash” Peters Team of the Year
Sumner U23 Female IRB Team
The Allen Lee Top Canterbury Team of the Year
Taylors Mistake Open Male Pool Rescue Relay
Te Onepoto Award for Junior Surf - Coaching
Julie Jorgensen - South Brighton SLSC
Te Onepoto Award for Junior Surf - Service
James Murphy - Kotuku SLSC
Sports Person of the Year
Taylor Chamberlain - Taylors Mistake SLSC
Innovation of the Year
Emily B Drifter Project - Kotuku SLSC
Volunteer of the Year
Kirsty Cullen - New Brighton SLSC
Rookie Lifeguard of the Year
Bradan Foster - Sumner SLSC
Rescue of the Year
Taylors Mistake Mass Rescue - January 2021
V.S.E Trophy Regional Lifeguard of the Year
Jackson Smith - Waimairi SLSC
Beach Education Instructor of the Year
Kelly Baker - Waimairi, SLSC
Instructor of the Year
Lewis Elliot - Sumner SLSC
Patrol Support of the Year
Angela Lambert - Kotuku SLSC
Lifeguard of the Year
Danny Schefer - Taylors Mistake Surf Life Saving Club
Volunteer of the Year
Mike Smith, Taylors Mistake SLSC
Patrol Club of the Year
Waikuku Beach SLSC
Club of the Year
South Brighton SLSC