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Outdoors Awards Celebrates Outstanding Outdoors Community

Outdoors New Zealand Media Release

Wednesday 17 October 2012

The Outdoors Awards 2012 Celebrates Outstanding Outdoors Community

It is the outdoors event of the year, yet it is held indoors. For one night a year, the champions of New Zealand's great outdoors get to shine. If you are anybody in the outdoors, you are at The Outdoors Awards. Hosted by Outdoors New Zealand, the peak organisation providing leadership and support to the outdoors community. This year the prestigious event was held on 12 October at the Mac’s Function Centre. Emceed by Outdoors New Zealand Chair Alex Brunt and co-hosted by nine-time Coast to Coast winner Steve Gurney who entertained the audience with stories of his outdoors exploits. The evenings highest accolade, the Sport NZ Supreme Award for dedication, commitment and signi"cant contribution to outdoor recreation, outdoor education and adventure tourism in New Zealand went to Stu Allan.

“Looking around the room, I can see people who deserve this award more than me,” Stu said, “But I’m very humbled and honoured to be getting the Supreme Award.”

Stu has decades of experience in outdoor recreation and is currently in his fortieth year as a member of the NZ Alpine Club. He has played a major role in the New Zealand outdoors as a climber and administrator for many years. He has a long list of "rst ascents and has been active in encouraging others to climb, to explore and to enjoy the great outdoors.

Stu has featured in the establishment of many important developments in the outdoors, including taking an early and often controversial - but ultimately wise - personal interest in outdoors safety. He was the "rst outdoor education trainer for the Ministry of Education, a Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (SEHOPC) instructor and director, leader of the NZ/US Antarctic survival programme, a founding member of the Register of Outdoor Safety Auditors and the inaugural Chair of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Recreation Council.

His dedication to the outdoors is made clear by his appearance over the decades at the leading edge of many seminal developments in professionalism and enhancements in outdoor recreation safety and participation.

Steve Gurney enthralled the audience as he recounted his days adventure racing, with an amusing anecdote about using an emergency #are to cook his team’s meal as they suffered from hypothermia.

Other winners include the Waiheke Walking Festival, which won the Event Award, and Harris Mountains Heli-Ski, which won the Adventure Tourism Award. These awards were introduced this year to recognise the signi"cant contribution adventure tourism makes to the outdoors.

Waiheke Walking Festival organiser and founder, Jenness Reeve, said winning the Event Award was absolutely thrilling.

“To have an award from Outdoors New Zealand really validates all the hard work that goes into this event. It’s a real measure of how well-rounded our approach is to creating this event.”

Harris Mountains Heli-Ski chief guide, Dean Staples, said winning the "rst Adventure Tourism Award was something special.

“Our name will always be there on the plaque as the "rst organisation - it feels great!” “What stood out for me was that Harris Mountains Heli-Ski is a small part of the bigger Totally Tourism/Skyline Enterprises group, so winning the award shows that we are quite a professional company and that we take things seriously.”

Next year’s Outdoors Awards will be held at The World Outdoors Summit in Rotorua in November. INFO BOX:

The Outdoors Awards 2012 Winners:

Stu Allan - Supreme Award (sponsored by Sport NZ)

Bigfoot Adventures - Organisation Award (sponsored by Outdoors New Zealand)

Waiheke Walking Festival - Event Award (sponsored by Outdoors New Zealand)

Harris Mountains Heli-Ski - Adventure Tourism Award (sponsored by Outdoors New Zealand)

Nigel Seebeck – Volunteer Award (sponsored by NZ Mountain Safety Council)

Sophia Mulder - Emerging Instructor Award (sponsored by NZ Outdoor Instructors Association)

St Cuthbert’s College - Kahunui - Environmental Leadership Award (sponsored by Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre)

Matahui Road School - Education Programme Award (sponsored by Education Outdoors NZ)

Hillcrest High School - Education Programme Special Merit Award (sponsored by Education Outdoors NZ)

NZ Mountain Safety Council Firearms Safety Training Programme - Education Programme Special Merit Award (sponsored by Education Outdoors NZ)

The Outdoors Awards is held alongside The Outdoors Forum, a conference for the outdoor recreation, outdoor education and adventure tourism community.


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