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Vicki Skill, of Whiritoa, is one of the finalists in the 2023 Waikato Sport and Active Recreation Awards. Photo: SUPPLIED

Sport award finalists announced

A Whiritoa lifeguard is among the finalists for the 2023 Waikato Sport and Active Recreation awards. 

Vicki Skill was nominated for the Community Unsung Hero award, for her work with the Whiritoa Lifeguard Service. After the Covid-19 pandemic, she was the last member remaining on the service’s committee. Club membership has since increased by 19 per cent and six adult lifeguards have been trained, ensuring the beach still has an active patrol. 

Her nomination credited her behind-the-scenes work with being the sole reason the club still exists. 

“Vicki plays a pivotal role in managing finances, ensuring compliance, and contributing to the Whiritoa Lifeguard Service’s overall success,” the nomination read. 

“Vicki has a solid gold heart and has voluntarily dedicated her time and expertise … The community now has a vibrant, committed team leading beach safety in Whiritoa. Vicki’s contribution will have a lasting impact on the organisation, influencing its financial stability and ability to achieve its mission for years to come.”

The Whitianga Skate School was nominated for the Commitment to Youth Engagement award for its First Push Skateboarding programme teaching the basics of boarding at schools around the area. 

Junior club captain Gabriella Hughes of Tairua was also nominated in the Outstanding By Youth, For Youth Initiative award for her work with youths at the Tairua Surf Lifesaving Club. 

The winners will be announced on February 15.