Aquatics Awards

Nominations are open for the 2019 Aquatics Awards

We organise annual awards for the aquatics industry to encourage development and recognition within the industry, and nominations are open until 26 July 2019.

This year, we want to see more supporting evidence with your nominations in the form of videos and photos. You can send us video filmed on a mobile phone - it's not about the quality, it's about seeing the person/project in action!

  • The Lifeguard of the Year award is given to the lifeguard who has made the most significant contribution to their facility and to the aquatics industry.
  • The Aquatic Innovation Award recognises the success of your business, an individual, programme, sustainability or business innovation, within the New Zealand Aquatic Industry and its contribution to the sector.
Download the nomination forms below:
The awards will be given at the Waves conference awards dinner on 4 September 2019 in Queenstown.

2018 winners


The 2018 Aquatics Awards were held on 22 August 2018 at the Waves Conference in Rotorua, and the quality of the nominations was so high that merit awards were introduced for the first time.

The annual Aquatics Industry Awards are organised by Recreation Aotearoa to encourage development and recognition within the industry.

The Lifeguard of the Year award is given to the lifeguard who has made the most significant contribution to their facility and to the aquatics industry, and this year's winner was Victor Thompson.

His colleague Mark Blake, who nominated him, said "In my 35 years working in the aquatics industry Victor simply stands out as the most energetic, supportive and dynamic lifeguard I have come across. It is difficult to explain in simple terms how superior his customer service and work ethic is in comparison to every other lifeguard I have met."

The Aquatic Innovation Award went to Belgravia Leisure for their Access and Inclusion Initiative. They have developed programmes specifically aimed at supporting minority groups who, for many reasons, have difficulty accessing their facilities. The reasons can range from disability, to economic issues, to transport issues. One customer said "The facility staff have built an environment that is based on support and acceptance. My disabled daughter is welcomed and included which is, sadly, extremely rare."

"We were overwhelmed by the quality of nominations this year and saw no choice but to introduce merit awards to congratulate more of our nominees," said Recreation AotearoaAquatics Programme Manager, Tracey Prince-Puketapu.

"I am incredibly proud of the work that is taking place across New Zealand in the Aquatics Sector, we are really setting the standard for high-quality aquatic recreation."

Merit awards were given to Agnes Figota and Kanae Atsumi in the Lifeguard of the Year competition and to Kāpiti Coast District Council, Hanmer Spring Thermal Pools & Spa, YMCA, Plunket and Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 for the Aquatic Innovation Award

The Lifeguard Team of the Year was decided at the NZ Lifeguard Championships on Monday. After a very close competition Community Leisure Management were declared the winners.


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