Over 65 of New Zealand’s elite Surf Lifeguards and members will be officially recognised this weekend for their hard work and dedication to save lives on New Zealand beaches.
A celebration of Surf Life Saving will take place Hamilton at Kingsgate Hotel on Saturday (24 September) as national honours will be awarded to Surf Lifeguards at the 2011 DHL In it for Life Awards Luncheon.
Over 50 Service and Distinguished Service Awards will be presented along with 10 Life Membership Awards, celebrating volunteer work spanning many decades. Seven long standing lifeguards will be honoured with their 50 year badge acknowledging their amazing contribution to aquatic safety and injury prevention on our beaches.
New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Life Saving Club members will be awarded two of the prominent awards - Glenn Anderson for Coach of the Year and Ayla Dunlop-Barrett for High Performance Athlete of the Year for her gold medal in the surf race at the 2010 World Championships in Egypt.
Hawkes Bay clubs have also come out on top in the award stakes with Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club’s Phil Harman winning Instructor of the Year and the award for Innovation of the Year going to Pacific Surf Life Saving Club. The club’s roving patrols using bicycles have been recognised as an environmentally friendly, cost effective and low maintenance patrolling method. The bikes were engineered to carry essential patrol equipment including rescue tube, fins, VHF radio and first aid kit and helped to extend the club’s patrol capability to high risk areas around the beach.
Craig Todd from Sumner Surf Life Saving Club will take home the DHL Volunteer of the Year Award for his outstanding contribution to the club as chairperson, carnival controller and building and development manager. The title of Official of the Year will go to Johnny Clough, from United North Piha Lifeguard Service for his huge participation in surf sports.
General Manager of Programmes and Services, Brett Sullivan, said the awards were highly sort after in the Surf Life Saving community. “The DHL In it for Life Awards Luncheon pays tribute to the significant time and effort our members devote to keeping our beaches safe during the summer months. Many of them dedicate summer after summer to support our cause and we are delighted to formally recognise their huge commitment and enthusiasm. We are very proud of all the winners.”