Dedicated volunteer surf lifeguards, coaches, instructors, and athletes have been celebrated at Surf Life Saving New Zealand's Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Awards of Excellence, which took place at Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club on Saturday, July 30.
The awards honour the volunteers who have devoted numerous hours to keeping our beaches and people safe and lifesaving athletes who have shone in competition.
Avan Polo, Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region Manager, says, "I'd like to thank all our dedicated volunteers who have given their time and energy to keep people safe at Bay of Plenty and Coromandel beaches this year. Clubs in the region did a fantastic job keeping patrols going under the challenging conditions and changing restrictions that Covid-19 presented."
Over the 2021-22 season lifeguards put in more than 50,000 patrol hours across Bay of Plenty and Coromandel beaches. There were 162 rescues undertaken, 412 people were assisted back to shore and eight searches were carried out. Also, 588 people were given first aid treatment by lifeguards and 26,498 preventative actions were implemented to keep beachgoers out of trouble.
Dominic Sutton, from Whangamata Surf Lifesaving Club, receives the accolade of Coromandel Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year. Dominic contributed over 100 hours patrolling to Whangamata as well as further patrols at Raglan and Northern Coromandel beaches.
As a senior patrol member Dominic was able to, and willingly, provided extensive support to patrol operations. This included IRB training opportunities, first aid scenarios and lifeguard mentoring. Off the beach, Dominic is actively involved on local and regional committees, taking part in and facilitating regional events and is passionate about lifeguard development.
Chaz Gibbons-Campbell, Eastern Region Lifesaving Manager, says "Dominic leads by example and is always looking for ways to increase member engagement and retention. He is a great lifeguard, carrying out his duties to a high standard."
Surf Life Saving NZ Awards of Excellence are held every year in each SLSNZ region to recognise and celebrate the many club members putting in considerable time, effort and skills at a grassroots level to make sure Kiwis who head to the beach get home safe.
The regional awards culminate in the National Awards of Excellence which will be held on September 17.
Bay of Plenty & Coromandel Supreme Awards:
Bay of Plenty Volunteer of the Year, Merehini Meads, Maketu SLSC
Coromandel Volunteer of the Year, Kevin Thorburn, Onemana SLSC
Bay of Plenty Innovation of the Year, Mt Maunganui Marker Project, Mount Maunganui LS
Bay of Plenty Overall Club of the Year, Maketu SLSC
Coromandel Overall Club of the Year, Whangamata SLSC
Coromandel Lifesaving Awards:
Patrol Support Person of the Year, Sharlene Manukau, Waihi Beach LGS
Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year, Dominic Sutton, Whangamata SLSC
U19 Emerging Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year, Rian Butler, Waihi Beach LGS
Patrol Captain of the Year, Dominic Sutton, Whangamata SLSC
Instructor of the Year, Brianna Norris, Whangamata SLSC
Examiner of the Year, Georgia Eldridge, Waihi Beach LGS
Rescue of the Year, Rescue January 5, 2022, Pauanui/Tairua SLSC
Regional Lifeguard of the Year, Stella Reid, Pauanui SLSC
Beach Education Instructor of the Year, Josh Coombridge & Laura Clark, Raglan SLSC
Patrol Club of the Year, Whangamata SLSC
Bay of Plenty & Coromandel Lifesaving Sport Awards:
Emerging Official of the Year, Fiona Swain, Waihi Beach LS
Official of the Year, Caroline Bird, Mount Maunganui LS
Emerging Coach of the Year, Jake Cowdrey, Papamoa SLSC
Volunteer Coach of the Year, Katrina Madill, Mount Maunganui LS
Sports Team of the Year, Two and a Half Men IRB Race Team (Thomas Swain, Rian Butler and Finn Miller), Waihi Beach LS
International Individual Sport Performance of the Year, Harrison Bond, Omanu SLSC
Bay of Plenty & Coromandel Service Awards:
Regional Service Award recipients include: Greg Bowen, Tairua SLSC, Kelly Pinner, Pauanui SLSC, Spencer Raymond, Pauanui SLSC, Jock Rosie, Pauanui SLSC, Stuart Upjohn, Pauanui SLSC, Laura Beanland-Stephens, Tairua SLSC, Mathew Kerr, Tairua SLSC, Rachelle Bright, Whangamata SLSC, Nathan Hight, Whangamata SLSC.
Regional Distinguished Service Award: Sean Ridler, Tairua SLSC, Nathan Hight, Whangamata SLSC.
Click here for full list of winners