The best surf lifeguards from Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa were honoured for their hard work and dedication to saving lives at the Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence at the Taradale RSA last night.
The night's top award, the Tremains Shield for Lifeguard of the Year, went to Aidan Charman from the Westshore Surf Life Saving Club. The award recognises an active surf lifeguard making an outstanding contribution in drowning prevention.
Mr Charman, 40, has been with the Westshore club since he started surf lifesaving at 8 years old. Since then, the sport has given him opportunities around the world. "I still compete at a national level and through surf life saving I have had the opportunity to go to a number of summer camps in the US and have been a pool lifeguard in Ireland," he said. He was recently made a life member of his club and has been nominated for national surf lifesaving honours later in the year.
Surf Life Saving Regional Manager Tim Marsden said it took a lot of commitment to be a lifeguard and the awards were proof of that. "Aidan has given up countless hours to reach this level of nomination for Lifeguard of the Year and he truly deserves this recognition," he said. "Aidan wears a number of hats at Westshore including patrol captain, IRB driver, director of lifesaving, patrol auditor, local lifesaving committee member and callout squad member.
He has been a great role model for his fellow lifeguards at Westshore."
The night's other top awards included Volunteer of the Year, awarded to Pilar Kruger from Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Club and Sportsperson of the Year, awarded to Nikki Cox of Westshore Surf Life Saving Club, who was part of the winning Black Fins team that competed at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide last November.
Club of the Year went to Ocean Beach Kiwi.