Awards make successful end to lifeguard season

Tyler Nitschke from Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Supplied photos.

Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Surf Life Saving clubs have marked a successful end to the Surf Lifeguarding season and year of achievements with their Awards of Excellence.

The awards acknowledge the work of the volunteers at surf lifesaving clubs at Hot Water Beach LGS, Tairua SLSC, Pauanui SLSC, Onemana SLSC, Whangamata SLSC, Whiritoa LGS, Waihi Beach LGS, Mt Maunganui LGS, Omanu Beach SLSC, Papamoa SLSC, Maketu SLSC, Pukehina SR, Whakatane SLSC & Opotiki SLSC.

Eastern Region Lifesaving Manager Chaz Gibbons-Campbell says the awards recognise the important contribution so many lifeguards make towards keeping our beaches safe.

“It’s wonderful that we can recognise some of those who have made a particular contribution but it’s just as important to remember that supporting them are clubs full of volunteers who give up their time to keep the public safe, putting in a huge effort and patrolling over 40,000 hours.

“Our volunteer lifeguards completed 47 rescues, 351 first aid incidents, 15 searches, 155 patient assists and 58,640 people were involved in 8654 preventative actions. Amongst numerous qualifications, Eastern Region was thrilled to qualify 100 new IRB crewmen and 45 new IRB drivers, which is a fantastic achievement.”

Among those being recognised at the Bay of Plenty/Coromandel Awards of Excellence is Tyler Nitschke from Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

She has been named Volunteer Lifeguard of the year alongside Andrew McDowell from Pukehina.

Tyler was also named as Instructor of the Year and Patrol Captain of the Year in recognition of her many contributions to the club.

As an avid patrol member, IRB Instructor and lifeguard instructor, she displays respect to all clubbies while maintaining a professional and positive attitude, says Chaz.

She has contributed to the Bay of Plenty Area as a patrol auditor and volunteered as a probationary examiner at a number of IRB and sSurf Lifeguard Exams.

Her time and effort does not go unnoticed and is hugely appreciated, says Chaz.

Eastern Region Sports Manager Jackson Edwards says Lifesaving Sport in the Eastern Region had an awesome season with clubs competing well in all regional events and national events where applicable.

“Thank you to all the clubs, coaches, officials and parents for their sacrifice over the season.

“Zespri’s continued support has been invaluable, with over 600 training hours and a number of scholarships handed out which allowed Eastern Region members to attend National Lifeguard School, Intermediate Lifeguard School as well as BP Leaders for Life.”

Phoebe Havill.

Omanu Beach SLSC and Pauanui SLSC took out the Zespri Overall Club of the Year for the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel, taking home $5,000 each towards rescue equipment.

The Mount hosted the Eastern Regional Championships for another year and once again the weather and waves came to play making for some interesting, highly competitive racing. “With Covid still hanging around we are thankful we got through all the Eastern Region events this season almost un-effected,” says Jackson.

Jackson says the Eastern Region is also celebrating the success of the Mt Maunganui LGS’ Daniel Barron for his outstanding effort at the Australian titles back in April where he joined elite company becoming one of only seven kiwis to make the Open Ironman Final at the Aussie Titles.

Daniel’s hard work and dedication to his craft has earnt him the International Performance of the Year award at last night’s Awards of Excellence.

Official of the year, Greg Rieger, was praised by Edwards for his forever inspiring passion and dedication to his role as an official this year.

“Greg has dedicated a lot of time to officiating this season, he’s passionate about officiating and has attended every Carnival that time has permitted,” says Jackson.

“He has been mentoring and developing a number of upcoming officials which is a testament to his commitment to furthering Surf Life Saving Sport.”

U15 Female Sports Person of the Year winner Talitha McEwan from Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service had an impressive year, showing skills in the water at National Pool and Eastern Region Pool Championships, dominating her age group and carrying on her hard work from the U14 age group into the senior ranks.

U17 Female Sports Person of the Year winner Lucy Bartlett also showed her aqua skills in the pool taking out a number of gold medals at the National Pool Rescue Championships held in Hamilton.

The winners.

It’s been an unusual season with Covid dating back to last season’s nationals. But if one person could keep their squad on the straight and narrow, it was Coach of the Year, John ‘Spindles’ Bryant, someone who always has time for his competitive lifeguards no matter how busy he is.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s 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 grass-roots level to make sure Kiwis who head to the beach get home safe.

The awards culminate with the National Awards of Excellence which will be held on September 19 in Wellington.

Zespri Bay of Plenty & Coromandel Awards of Excellence 2021 Winners

Rookie of the Year

Nicole Baker – Pukehina SR

Bay of Plenty Winners:

Patrol Support Person of the Year

Sue Stewart – Omanu Beach SLSC

Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year

Tyler Nitschke – Omanu Beach SLSC

Andrew McDowell – Pukehina Surf Rescue

U19 Emerging Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year

Harry Beattie – Papamoa SLSC
Heather Stuart – Omanu Beach SLSC

Patrol Captain of the Year

Tyler Nitschke - Omanu Beach SLSC

Instructor of the Year

Tyler Nitschke – Omanu Beach SLSC

Examiner of the Year

Boyd Harris – Pukehina Surf Rescue

Rescue of the Year

2nd January 2021 Rescue – Luca Dehmer - Pukehina Surf Rescue

Volunteer of the Year

Boyd Harris – Pukehina SR

Regional Lifeguard of the Year

Reuben Ronalds – Omanu Beach SLSC

Beach Education Instructor of the Year

Roisin Boyle – Omanu Beach SLSC

Coromandel Winners:

Patrol Support Person of the Year

Sharlene Manukau – Waihi Beach LGS

Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year

Phoebe Havill – Onemana SLSC (Primary) & Whangamata SLSC (Secondary)

U19 Emerging Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year

Matilda Garbett – Onemana SLSC

Patrol Captain of the Year

Ella Higgins – Waihi Beach LGS

Instructor of the Year

Phoebe Havill – Onemana SLSC (Primary) & Whangamata SLSC (Secondary)

Examiner of the Year

Phoebe Havill– Onemana SLSC (Primary) & Whangamata SLSC (Secondary)

Rescue of the Year

7th January 2021 Rescue - Stella Reid, Jessica Meade, Ella Higgins & Jack Sewell – Bowentown Regional Lifeguards

Volunteer of the Year

Sean Ridler – Tairua SLSC

Regional Lifeguard of the Year

Ella Higgins – Waihi Beach LGS

Beach Education Instructor of the Year

Tyler Ranger – Whangamata SLSC

Lifesaving Sport Awards – Bay of Plenty and Coromandel

Emerging Official of the Year

Radleigh Cairns – Papamoa SLSC

Official of the Year

Greg Rieger – Mt Maunganui LGS

Emerging Coach of the Year

Jack Bullock – Papamoa SLSC

Coach of the Year

John Bryant – Mt Maunganui LGS

Volunteer Coach of the Year

Ben Grant – Waihi Beach LGS

Sports Team of the Year

Mt Maunganui U17 Mens Pool Rescue Team - Tarquin Magner, Liam Shanahan, Zach Reeder & Ben Cosford

Sports Person of the Year

U14 Male

Finn Freemantle – Whangamata SLSC

U14 Female

Monique Bartlett – Omanu Beach SLSC

U15 Male

Thomas Richardson – Mt Maunganui LGS

U15 Female

Talitha McEwan – Mt Maunganui LGS

U17 Male

Kel Iggulden – Omanu Beach SLSC

U17 Female

Lucy Bartlett – Omanu Beach SLSC

U19 Male

Daniel Shanahan – Mt Maunganui LGS

U19 Female

Molly Shivnan – Omanu Beach SLSC

Open Male

Hamish Miller – Mt Maunganui LGS

Open Female

Madi Kidd – Whangamata SLSC

Masters Male

Russell Reardon – Mt Maunganui LGS

Master Female

Naomi Davoren – Papamoa SLSC

International – Individual

Daniel Barron – Mt Maunganui LGS

Regional Service Awards

James Bray – Waihi Beach LGS

Vivien Conway – Mt Maunganui LGS

Michelle Cossey – Whakatane SLSC

Chaz Gibbons-Campbell – Whiritoa LGS

Stephen Law – Papamoa SLSC

Catriona Manning – Whakatane SLSC

Hamish McKenzie – Opotiki SLSC

Joanne Miller – Papamoa SLSC

Tyler Nitschke – Omanu Beach SLSC

Lucy Scown – Waihi Beach LGS

Nathan Smith – Papamoa SLSC

Laurie Stubbing – Onemana SLSC

Andrew Taylor – Opotiki SLSC

Regional Distinguished Service Awards

Ailsa Cowdrey – Papamoa SLSC

Stephen Law – Papamoa SLSC

James Lloyd – Waihi Beach LGS

Shaun Smith – Papamoa SLSC

Sheryl McLay – Mt Maunganui LGS

Regional Life Member Awards

Ross Merrett – Papamoa SLSC

Allan Mundy – Omanu Beach SLSC

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