From The Bay of Plenty Times | 30 Jul, 2020 09:00 AM
Three members won four awards between them with chairman Boyd Harris taking out both the Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer Coach of the Year Awards, Emma Russell winning the Under 19 Emerging Volunteer Lifeguard Award and brother Josh sharing success in the Patrol Captain of the Year award.
The club also had finalists in the Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year, Examiner of the Year, Regional Lifeguard of the Year and Patrol Club of the Year Awards.
Coincidentally all three winners have an association with Te Puke High School with Emma a student, Josh a staff member and former student and Boyd a board member.
Club captain Chrissie Nairn received a regional service award for her service to the Whakatāne Surf Life Saving Club and Pukehina Surf Rescue. "Of the eight nominees, seven were finalists," says Boyd.
It is the third year in a row a club member has won the volunteer of the year and patrol captain of the year awards and the second in a row for the under 19 emerging lifeguard award.
Josh has been with the club for seven years and patrol captain is just one of the roles he has with the club. He says it is the variety as much as anything else that is the attraction of surf lifesaving.
"I came from pool swimming, but got bored swimming lengths, so my parents took me to try surf lifesaving," he says. "I was a little bit hesitant at first, but then learned there's so much you can do. There's still pool swimming, but swimming in the ocean's whole different ball game, and all the other activities like boarding, canoes all that."