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Recreation Association Award Winners Announced

15 November 2006
Media Release
For immediate release

New Zealand Recreation Association Award Winners Announced

Awards presented at the NZRA National Conference, Auckland

Communities stepping out, factilities with an X factor, recreation opportunities for vulnerable residents, and water safety programmes that reverse drowning statistics in the Far North took out the awards recognising excellence in recreation programming, projects and facilities, announced at a gala dinner in Auckland last night on the first day of the New Zealand Recreation Association's annual conference.
Individual honours went to former local government

The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) announced winners of this year’s awards programme at a gala dinner in Auckland at their annual conference last night.

The awards recognise excellence in recreation programming, projects, and facilities and to celebrate and recognise the performance of individuals within the recreation industry.

The five business awards winners are:

• Sports Northland wins the SPARC Push Play Programme Award for Stepping Out, 10,000 Steps programme, Sport Northland. The awards judges were impressed by the innovative approaches including stencil feet painted on the footpaths, the moon walk, strong links with Maori, and youth and Green Prescriptions.

• Huia Indoor Pool, Leisure Active – Hutt City Council, wins the SPARC Win/Win Facility Award – The Huia Pool has benefited the local community with a high quality facility. Huia Pool has an "X" factor when attracting customers. When combined with consistent management over a significant period, it has punched above its weight through very high usage and for a vast number of user groups in a very limited space.

• Rotary Shotover Bridge Restoration Fund and Queenstown Lakes District Council is awarded a "Highly Commended" in the NZRA Outstanding Project Award for the Shotover Bridge Restoration – This significant community and council effort to restore an historic bridge received the attention of the judging panel. The restoration has joined two communities and enabled increased physical activity and recreational opportunities. It is notable because of the involvement of Rotary and different funders as an example of real community effort to preserve and enhance not only a heritage but also ensured it was functional and from the figures provided extremely well used.

• Wellington City Council and MASH Trust Board wins the NZRA Outstanding Project Award for its Fundamental Skills Programme – This project appealed to the judges because of the meaningful engagement of council staff and consumers. This engagement has provided some of the Wellington community’s most vulnerable citizens with recreational opportunities a chance to get involved and Wellington City Council has made a real and effective attempt to ensure that no-one misses out.

• Christchurch City Council and Office of Ethnic Affairs are awarded "Highly Commended" in the NZRA Outstanding Programme Award for their Christchurch Ethnic Football Festival 2006 – This simple concept received an injection of innovation through a good management structure and partners to engage multiple ethnic groups and encourage participation in this "beautiful game".

• Sport Northland is awarded the NZRA Outstanding Programme Award for its Top Energy WaterSafe Programme – Significant for the judges was the longevity and reach of this highly successful free programme. More than 50,000 participants have benefited from water safety education in an "at risk" region in a programme which has been funded almost entirely through corporate sponsorship. The initiative, the accessibility and the results were all contributing factors to this programme winning the award.

The winners within the Individual Award category are:

• Fay Freeman is awarded the Mark Mitchell Memorial Trophy for her leadership in the sport and recreation industry over four decades. Fay has led recreation teams at North Shore City and Manukau City while at the same time playing major roles in NZ Netball (of which she is currently President) and Softball New Zealand. Fay is recognised for developing leaders in the sport and recreation industry and raising the level of professionalism.

• Paul Wilson, from Queenstown Lakes District Council is awarded the Maunsell Scholarship. Paul has won the Maunsell NZRA Scholarship worth $3000 to assist in funding towards a study into best practice applications of lighting in parks, sportsfields and public spaces with an emphasis on energy efficiency, environmental standards, crime prevention through environmental design and automated control systems.

• Bruce Stokell wins the President’s Award. Bruce was the person behind iconic kiwi campaigns "Have a Go" and "Come Alive" when he was Chief Executive of the then New Zealand Council for Recreation and Sport. Running his consultancy SportsWork since then, Bruce has led a number of national sports organisations through restructures and has been an inspiration and mentor to many in the industry.


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