Otaki Surf Life Saving Club wins top title

By David Haxton

Otaki Surf Life Saving Club member Sophrose London is presented with the U19 Lifeguard of the Year title from Paekakariki Surf Life Saving Club life member Joost Brinck. Photo: Jamie Nilsson
Otaki Surf Life Saving Club member Sophrose London is presented with the U19 Lifeguard of the Year title from Paekakariki Surf Life Saving Club life member Joost Brinck. Photo: Jamie Nilsson

Otaki Surf Life Saving Club has won the Club of the Year title at the Capital Coast Awards of Excellence.

Regional Awards of Excellence ceremonies are held around the country to recognise members for their dedication to surf life saving.

Otaki also won the Rescue of the Year title, Sophrose London won the U19 Lifeguard of the Year title and Paul Carlyon became a life member.

Paekakariki Surf Life Saving Club's Dwight Garton won Instructor of the Year, and Kayla Imrie won Sportsperson of the Year.

Horowhenua's Nathan Berry, from the Levin Waitarere Surf Life Saving Club was Lifeguard of the Year in recognition of his contribution to development of drowning prevention services.

Carlyon said he was pleased to become a life member but more proud of the surf club team.

"Club of the year is a really big deal.

"There are nine clubs in the Capital Coast area and some of those clubs are very strong."

He said London was an outstanding lifeguard.

"She has been with the surf club since she was a junior.

"One of the standout features is she went off to do the advanced lifeguard course with Surf Life Saving New Zealand and she was the top candidate.

"That hammered home to us just how lucky we are to have her as part of our team.

"She has been super keen to share her skills as well as develop new skills.

The rescue related to an event at the Otaki river mouth where tragically two men died.

"In this instance it was the recovery of one of the deceased men.

"We had a large turnout from our club and the wider Capital Coast in terms of lifeguards.

"We were tasked by the police to be involved.

"Initially it started as a rescue but as it turned out it became a recovery, and it was in very trying conditions."

Carlyon said the club was in a strong position.

"We're really delighted to get those awards."

- Kapiti News

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