The Hawke's Bay Surf Life Saving regional awards night saw nearly 20 awards presented to surf lifeguards and club members for their achievements and efforts over the 2017-2018 patrol season.

Every Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) from around Hawke's Bay took home awards, including Pacific, Waimarama, Ocean Beach Kiwi and Westshore.

A majority of the awards were won by Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club, with eight local awards including rescue of the year and club of the year.

Rescue of the year was awarded for Bella Herbison's efforts in rescuing four young children -aged 7-12 years old- who got themselves into difficulty last year.


Bridget Page from Westshore took home the life guard of the year award, for being the club's top patroller during the 2017-18 patrol season and clocking up 157 hours on the beach.

The club described her as "very dedicated, conscientious and always available at short notice by her peers, as well as very motivated to be the best surf lifeguard she can be".

Pacific Surf Life Saving Club's 17-year-old Leigh Cooper took the volunteer of the year award, after her peers named her an "outstanding life guard". Cooper was said to juggle a number of duties while still keeping the club a priority, teaching new members skills as well as going to school and working a part-time job.

Cooper also helped to raise $3000 at the Hawke's Bay Lego Exhibition, a result that was recognised as "remarkable" by her peers.

SLSNZ Central Region Lifesaving manager Netta Cagney said it was the perfect opportunity to thank all the lifeguards and club members for their work throughout year.

"We are so proud to hear all the stories and successes from around Hawke's Bay. Everyone makes such a huge contribution to water safety from our lifeguards to coaches, sports people and everyone in between. To put flags up at the beaches takes a lot of time, effort and passion from a whole bunch of people, and it's nice to acknowledge the people who help make that happen."

Awards of Excellence: Lifeguard of the Year: Bridget Page, Westshore.
Volunteer of the Year: Leah Cooper, Pacific.
Instructor of the Year: Jason Broome, Waimarama.
Outstanding Contribution to Junior Surf:, Trina Wills, Westshore.
Outstanding Sportsmanship Junior Surf, Mahina Ross, Westshore.
Outstanding Contribution to Powercraft: Mike Harman, Waimarama.
Legend Ironman: Jonty Laver, Waimarama.
Legend Ironwoman: Isabella (Bella) Bassett-Foss, Waimarama.
Most Improved Athlete: Logan Sanko, Waimarama.
Most Outstanding Beach Athlete – Male: Reece Akuhata, Ocean Beach Kiwi.
Most Outstanding Beach Athlete – Female: Jess Tucker, Ocean Beach Kiwi.
Sportsperson of the Year: Reece Akuhata, Ocean Beach Kiwi.