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Nerves Heighten as National Stage Looms

Nerves Heighten as National Stage Looms

Murupara’s youthful leaders prepare to represent the Whakatane District

A team of Murupara’s most determined youths are counting down before they stand in a national competition to represent Whakatane’s volunteer community next week in Dunedin.

With just one week to go until the 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards commences in the South Island, Youth Projects Leadership Team representative Ellen-May Slade is calming the nerves with excitement.

She and fellow volunteer, Celine Tapara, will be going head to head with the country’s best and brightest voluntary groups and organisations on a national stage of friendly competition. Mayor Tony Bonne will also attend and support the Murupara team with his wife, Linda Bonne.

The 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards will be held in Dunedin City next weekend (18-20 March). The national competition brings together 25 groups from across 27 New Zealand districts and the Wellington region – all are Supreme Winners of Trustpower Community Awards, a programme run in partnership with local councils.

After coming out on top at the Trustpower Whakatane District Community Awards last year ahead of a whopping 75 other local voluntary organisations, Trustpower community relations representative Kathlene Cook says this shows the Youth Projects Leadership Team really does have the chops to stand in a national pool.

“I saw how passionate these guys were when we announced their name at the district awards last year. They were absolutely ecstatic!

“I know that youthful energy and excitement is going to translate well when Ellen-May and Celine present with Mayor Tony Bonne on Saturday (March 19)”, she said.

Joining the Whakatane contingent at the National Awards will be a host of similarly dedicated volunteers representing districts from the Far North, right down to Stewart Island in Southland.

At the Nationals, the Youth Projects Leadership Team will give an eight minute presentation on what the group has achieved and try to convince a panel of independent judges they deserve the title of 2015’s Trustpower National Community Award Supreme Winner. The groups will be judged on their presentations, along with a 1,000 word summary of the organisation.

This year on the judging panel the Trustpower community relations team will be hosting TVNZ’s Good Sorts presenter Haydn Jones and Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Honourable Jo Goodhew along with several other community and Trustpower representatives.

Presentations will take place over most of Saturday at the historic Otago Boys’ High School, with an awards dinner to announce award recipients that evening at the Dunedin Town Hall. The Trustpower National Community Awards Supreme Winner will take home a custom-made trophy, $4,000 in prize money, a framed certificate and a$1,000 Exult volunteer sector consultancy voucher. The Runner Up will receive $2,500 in prize money, a $500 Exult voucher and a framed certificate.

“But regardless of how the Murupara volunteers rate in the grand scheme of the Nationals, I hope they know they won’t be walking home empty handed – and certainly not empty hearted,” Miss Cook said.


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