Winning in the Outdoors
Dedicated volunteers and outstanding organisations were among the award winners at the annual New Zealand Recreation Association Outdoor Awards, held in Auckland last night.
This year’s Skills Active Supreme Award was presented to Fiona McDonald for her tireless and passionate advocacy for the importance of outdoors to the learning and development of children and young people for over 20 years. NZ Alpine Club Outstanding Volunteer Award winner, Gillian Crombie, was awarded for her impressive length of service as a volunteer in the sector and the way she ensures the smooth running and sustainability of the Alpine Club.
NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said the awards provided an important acknowledgement for the people and organisations whose efforts markedly improved outdoor experiences in New Zealand. “People like Fiona and Gillian contribute a massive amount of personal time and effort into creating better environmental outcomes and ensuring people have the necessary skills and facilities to enjoy the outdoors,” Mr Leslie said.
“This in turn leads to stronger communities, safer outdoor experiences and happier, healthier people. It is only fitting that these people who have devoted their lives to making the world a better place receive some portion the recognition they deserve.”
Youthtown Envirocamps took home the DoC Environmental Leadership Award thanks to their work reducing barriers for young people to experience the outdoors and contribute to community environmental projects. They demonstrated a futuristic view by focusing on developing leaders for future environmental challenges and opportunities through targeting the next generation.
Craftlab won the YMCA Outstanding Programme Award and Adventure Specialties Trust were the recipients of the Mountain Safety Council Organisational Excellence Award, with Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre being highly commended. 3 Peaks Go-4-12 was highly commended in the NZRA Outstanding Event category, with the Cape Fear Youth Adventure Race taking home the award.
“It was heartening to see so many organisations nominated for their efforts to improve the way we experience the great outdoors,” Mr Leslie said.
“It is vital we continue to recognise the efforts of our outdoor organisations, paid workers and volunteers so they can find support for their efforts to improve outdoor experiences and foster the love of New Zealand’s great outdoors that is engrained as a part of our culture.”
• NZAC Outstanding Volunteer Award – Gillian Crombie
• DoC Environmental Leadership Award – Youthtown Envirocamps
• YMCA Outstanding Programme Award – Craftlab
• Visitor Solutions Outstanding Event Award – Cape Fear Youth Adventure Race (winner), 3 Peaks Go-4-12 (highly commended)
• MSC Organisational Excellence Award – Adventure Specialties Trust (winner), Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre (highly commended)
• Skills Active Supreme Award – Fiona McDonald