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  • 25 May 15

The New Zealand Rowing Association (Rowing New Zealand) held their Annual General Meeting in Christchurch on Saturday 23 May and a number of awards were presented.

Congratulations to all award winners.

Administrator of the Year - David Pullar

David was nominated by Petone Rowing Club for establishing a new level of quality in organisation and communication with the clubs members since he was elected to the position of Honorary Secretary. Dave transformed Committee meeting agendas, recording of meeting minutes, reminding administration members of deadlines and has set new standards for the club. David is a professional Parliamentary Secretary and that of course transfers to the quality of his Rowing Club secretarial work. Dave has a full schedule with work but somehow manages to create time to support the Petone Rowing Club.

Volunteer of the Year - Warren Blazey

Warren was nominated by Canterbury Rowing Club for his very active rowing volunteering over a 59 year period. Warren has also been heavily involved with Ruataniwha Rowing for nearly 30 years holding roles such as Chief Starter and he is a regular on the start team at various South Island regattas over the season. In the 1960s Warren was responsible for boat transport for the Canterbury club and to this day is still involved in delivering school, club, university and provincial boats to where they needed to go around the country.This award backs up the award that Warren received from Christchurch City Council as their “Volunteer of the Year” in 2014.

There were three additional nominations received by Rowing New Zealand for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Diane Campbell, Paddy O’Reilly and Joe O’Neill were also acknowledged at the Annual General Meeting by being presented a Certificate to honour the important work they do in the rowing community.

Club of the Year - Cure Boating Club

Cure Boating Club are a worthy “Club of the Year” for their achievements in club management, development and utilisation of amenities and equipment, financial controlling, promotion of the sport and club, developing personnel as well as their on water performances.

Cure have had solid club management with a President who has served for over 30 years and they club is also supported by 3 Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Minute taker, Club Captain, Vice Club Captain and Committee member. The management team works well together and has the experience and range of skills required to administer the club both on and off the water.

In 2010 after the devastating Canterbury earthquake the Cure Boating Club shed was ruined, and they received an insurance payment which meant they could make temporary repairs to be able to continue to use the building while they got plans underway for a new larger building. The club has dealt with consents and fundraising and this building is estimated to cost around $2 million and to date the club have raised about half of this amount. The club are also about to lodge their building and resource consent applications.

The Cure Boating Club is in an excellent financial position and subscriptions are kept to a minimum as they recognise that many of their rowers are young and the club does not want to place too big a financial burden on the parents.

Cure aims to develop their rowers both on and off the water through training and competing but also through attendance at regattas where they represent themselves and the club appropriately by virtue of the way they conduct themselves and also how they respect other people’s property.

The Club promote the sport of rowing is to succeed on the water and to build up a culture in the schools that results in younger students looking up to the older rowing students and aspiring to emulate or better them. The club have experienced an increase in membership numbers and success at regattas. For a small Club Cure certainly box well above their weight - at the recent 2015 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships the crew won two Golds in the Men’s Senior Eight (composite crew with Nelson) and Men’s Senior Four, a silver was won by the Men’s Senior Coxless Quad, and two bronze were won by the Men’s Senior Coxless Pair and Men’s Senior Single.

Over the last few years Cure Boat Club are proud to have produced some elite rowers including Armin Svoboda junior, Evan Kennedy and Alex Kennedy. These three rowers all attended Rangiora High School and rowed successfully for the Club.

Service to Sport Award – Wellington Rowing Association

Andrew Carr-Smith

Andrew was first exposed to rowing through family involvement from the 1990s. Gary, his father was involved in administration both on the New Zealand Rowing Council and New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Association (NZSSRA). Andrew’s involvement in the administration of the sport falls into 3 categories, with his work with the NZSSRA, Wellington Rowing Association (WRA) and with RowIT. From 2005 to 2012 Andrew served as the NZSSRA Executive Officer and from 2012 to 2013 as a Member and from 2012 to 2015 as a Director. He has also been the NZSSRA Representative on the Maadi Cup Race Committee from 2006 to 2015 and was on the race committee for the North Island Secondary School Rowing Championships from 2006 to 2012.

For the Wellington Rowing Association Andrew has been an Assistant Judge from 2007 to 2011 before stepping up to the role as Chief Judge from 2011 until the present day. In his role as a Director of the Wellington Rowing Association provides regatta secretarial services and proffers sound advice on governance matters.

In the year 2000 Andrew was at the leading edge of IT, setting up the Maadi Cup website, by 2003 he had created New Zealand’s first online regatta entry system. In 2008 Andrew made sure that all Maadi Cup Regatta results were available online, by the 2015 Aon Maadi Cup RowIT results had received over 1 million page views.

Service to Sport Award – Southland Rowing Association

Ray Cleveland

Ray has been a member of Invercargill Rowing Club for over 50 years and has been involved at various levels over that timeframe from rowing at school through to masters competitively. Ray has also competed at the World Masters in 1997, 2001 and 2002.

Ray’s dedication to the sport doesn’t stop at the competition level as he has also been involved in many projects around the club including using his welding and fabrication skills to fix and make riggers from scratch. He has also put in a large amount of time into the construction of the new combined boat shed at the Oreti River, by fitting out boat racks. Ray’s contribution to Southland Rowing Association has been consideration as he has also assisted at many local years as a starter for 20 years and the local association also recognised him with a Southland Association Service Pin last season.