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Surf lifesaving’s best in running for awards

The Gisborne emergency call-out squad have been named as two of the three finalists in the Rescue of the Year category of the Gisborne-Tairawhiti surf lifesaving Awards of Excellence.

The Zespri-sponsored awards cover surf lifesaving activities in the district across the past year.

Character Roofing call-out squad members Connor Mitchell, Alan Thorpe, Justin Martin and Michelle Mitchell are finalists for a rescue situation that happened on August 15 in which they saved a father and his two sons on a broken-down jet ski on Poverty Bay.

Squad members Connor Mitchell and Andrew Shelton are finalists for a rescue on January 9 in which they saved a man in difficulties at Midway Beach.

The third finalists in the rescue-of-the- year category are father and daughter duo Kelly Ryan and Jay Ryan-Emerre for a rescue they carried out together involving a swimmer in distress at Makorori on February 20.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region lifesaving manager Chaz Gibbons Campbell said the awards recognised volunteers who had gone “above and beyond”, who have dedicated many hours to their club, and who have excelled in lifesaving sport.

“Covid-19 certainly threw a spanner in the works in the lead up to the season but clubs and volunteer surf lifeguards handled it well and were able to continue patrols through the summer season.

“We didn't see an increase in visitor numbers, but there were still a number of challenging first aids and after hours call-outs which kept lifeguards busy,” Chaz said.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region sport manager Jackson Edwards said the Gisborne clubs enjoyed a very successful lifesaving sport season.

“It was devastating for all athletes, coaches and supporters to see the cancellation of our national championships.

“On the flip side it was great that a large number of our local and regional events were able to go ahead with some solid numbers taking part throughout the region, and let's get excited to make next season's events the best yet.”

The full list of category finalists —

Junior Lifeguard of the Year: Ella Whibley (Wainui SLSC), Bella Fitzharris-Stevens (Waikanae SLSC), Holly McIntyre (Midway SLSC).

Volunteer of the Year: Belinda Slement (Wainui), Nigel Hope (Waikanae).

Lifesaving awards

Patrol Support of the Year: Jeremy Lockwood (Wainui), Tanay Goldsmith (Waikanae), Bill Wheeler (Midway).

Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year: Kevin Weatherley (Wainui), Andrew Shelton (Waikanae), Rubi Perano (Midway).

Emerging Lifeguard of the year: Theo Weathlerley (Wainui), Neo Stuart (Waikanae), Stella Perano (Midway).

Regional Lifeguard of the Year: Luke Whibley (Wainui), Ella van Kregten (Waikanae), Cairo Reihana (Tolaga Bay).

Patrol Captain of the Year: Adam Glenister (Wainui), Calum Wilson (Waikanae), Debbie Reeves (Midway).

Instructor of the Year: Sonia Keepa (Wainui), Rodney Richards (Waikanae), Rama Robertson (Midway.)

Beach Education

Instructor of the year: John Minogue (Wainui), Ella van Kregten (Waikanae), Rubi Perano (Midway).

Examiner of the Year: Jeremy Lockwood (Wainui), Andrew Shelton (Waikanae).

Rescue of the Year

August 15, 2020: Connor Mitchell, Alan Thorpe, Justin Martin and Michelle Mitchell (Gisborne SAR Squad)

January 9, 2021: Connor Mitchell and Andrew Shelton (Gisborne SAR Squad).

February 20, 2021: Kelly Ryan and Jay Ryan Emerre (Wainui).

Lifesaving sports awards

Emerging Official of the Year: Jane Lockwood (Wainui), Eric Clearwater (Waikanae).

Official of the Year: Alistair Thorpe (Waikanae), Miah Thorpe (Midway).

Emerging Coach of the Year: Emily Gillies (Waikanae), Jessica Fearnley (Midway).

Coach of the Year: Dion Williams (Wainui), Connor Mitchell (Waikanae).

Sports Team of the Year: Waikanae U23 IRB Race Team Connor Mitchell, Oliver Shivnan and Silke McNaught.

Sportsperson of the Year

U14 male: Felix Sparks (Waikanae), Yahni Brown (Midway). Female: Chloe Kapene (Waikanae).

U15 male: Sam Briant (Waikanae), Jack Lepper (Midway). Female: Jay Ryan Emerre (Wainui), Freya Wilson (Waikanae), Sophie Petro (Midway).

U17 male: Jack Keepa (Wainui), Lachie Falloon (Waikanae), Dylan Bronlund (Midway). Female: Sofia Zame (Wainui), Jessie Kapene (Waikanae), Jessikah Fearnley (Midway).

U19 male: Nathan Proctor (Waikanae), Jacob Corrin (Midway). Female: Ava Smith (Wainui), Briana Irving (Waikanae), Edan Wilson (Waikanae).

Open male: Quaid Thompson (Waikanae), Chris Dawson (Midway). Female: Lauren PicketT (Waikanae), Briana Irving (Waikanae).

Masters female: Emily Gillies (Waikanae).

International individual: Cory Taylor (Midway).

The awards ceremony is at The Vines at Bushmere Estate on Friday, June 25.

Regional award-winners will go on to the national Awards of Excellence in Wellington on September 18.

FINALISTS: The Waikanae IRB team of Oliver Shivnan and Connor Mitchell, along with their patient, Silke McNaught, had a huge summer with outstanding performances in their under-23 age group at the North Island and New Zealand championships. They are finalists in the team of the year category. File picture