Dedicated volunteers and outstanding organisations were among the award winners at the annual New Zealand Recreation Association Outdoor Awards, held in Wellington last night.

This year’s Supreme Award was presented to Josie Ogden Schroeder, who has given selflessly to recreation for many years both as in her career and as a volunteer. She has enriched the lives of others, particularly those who are vulnerable or less able to help themselves. Outstanding Volunteer Award winner, John Cocks, was awarded for his incredible contribution to the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) over an almost 40-year period, while

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 John and Josie 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.”

Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre took home the Environmental Leadership Award thanks to their work introducing thousands of Canterbury school children to the natural wonder of the Arthur’s Pass environment through attending programmes at the centre.

NZAC National Youth Camp won the Outstanding Programme Award and YMCA Christchurch were the recipient of the Organisational Excellence Award, with both Mt Hutt Ski Area and Outward Bound being highly commended. The Taranaki Alpine Club Open Climb was highly commended in the Outstanding Event category, with the Sustainable Summits Conference 2016 hosted by NZAC 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 ingrained as a part of our culture.”

A full list of Outdoor Award winners is available below.

• NZAC Outstanding Volunteer Award – John Cocks

• DoC Environmental Leadership Award – Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre

• YMCA Outstanding Programme Award – NZAC National Youth Camp

• Visitor Solutions Outstanding Event Award – Taranaki Alpine Club, Open Climb (highly commended), Sustainable Summits Conference 2016 – hosted by NZAC (winner)

• MSC Organisational Excellence Award – Mt Hutt Ski Area (highly commended), Outward Bound (highly commended), YMCA Christchurch (winner)

• Skills Active Supreme Award – Josie Ogden Schroeder

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