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New Zealand aquatics champions honoured

New Zealand aquatics champions honoured

After numerous nominations, intense competition, and much deliberation this year’s champion aquatic facility lifeguards, teams, and innovators have been found.

Awards for Innovation in Aquatics, National Lifeguard Team of the Year, and Lifeguard of the Year were presented at Hobbiton last night as part of New Zealand’s premier aquatics industry event – the New Zealand Recreation Association’s (NZRA) Just Add Water Seminar.

“As well as providing an opportunity to recognise outstanding individuals and organisations, the awards are a great way to encourage continuous improvement in our aquatics industry,” NZRA Chief Executive Mr Andrew Leslie said.

The National Lifeguard Team of the Year award was won by Auckland for the fourth year running after their regional team secured victory in the National Lifeguard Sports Competition, hosted at Waterworld in Hamilton this week.

As well as daring rescue techniques, the National Lifeguard Sports Competition showcases teams’ emergency scenario response skills. Mr Leslie said the hotly contested final was testament to the quality and expertise of lifeguards in New Zealand.

Kristin Raynes took out the individual ‘Lifeguard of the Year’ award for her outstanding commitment to the industry. Ms Raynes is a practising lifeguard and also the Operations Manager of H20 Xtream in Upper Hutt, Wellington.

Mr Leslie said Ms Raynes was a deserving winner, with a reputation for bringing out the best in others.

“Kristin is an outstanding lifeguard, trainer, and PoolSafe assessor, but it was her all-round commitment to improvement from a grass roots level and the work she has put into developing others that made her the most deserving person for this year’s award.”

Rotorua Aquatics Centre won the Innovation in Aquatics award for incorporating the latest technologies using the ‘Kaizen’ lean management strategy for continuous improvement.

The facility’s adoption of Kaizen lean management has drawn widespread attention. Although it is 40 years old, Rotorua Aquatics Centre was New Zealand’s first aquatic facility to win Qualmark EnviroGold, and have reported significantly better performance on all fronts.

“All of this year’s winners have made an outstanding contribution, not just at their facility, but to the aquatics industry in New Zealand,” Mr Leslie said.


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