Wānaka Recreation Centre crew member Michelle Tetzlaff has been named New Zealand Lifeguard of the Year at the 2019 Aquatics Award, which took place in Queenstown last Wednesday.
The ceremony aims to encourage recognition and development within the aquatics industry and the top individual award is pegged for the lifeguard who has made the most noteworthy contribution to his or her facility and the sector.
QLDC sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick said, “This national recognition is fully deserved. As we were putting Michelle’s nomination together words like friendly, helpful, professional, dedicated, respected and supportive kept cropping up. It’s clear that customers and colleagues alike truly appreciate her work ethic and positive attitude”.
“Her colleagues at Wānaka Pool say that she is very dedicated and has a fantastic rapport with customers. Frequent visitors to the pool have described her as ‘a breath of fresh air’ and say that the pool wouldn’t be the same without her.”
Tetzlaff began working at the old Wānaka Community Pool back in 2011 after relocating from Auckland. As a gifted competitive swimmer, she was selected to join the national development squad ahead of the 2000 Olympics and later went on to coach her son, who twice made it to the national junior championships.
During the awards ceremony, it was also confirmed that the pan-Crown Range team, made up of Matteo Navone, Craig Pritchard, Georgia Murty and Michelle Tetzlaff herself, had finished second at the New Zealand Lifeguard Championships held at Alpine Aqualand on September 2.
Battrick added, “Having the awards ceremony and lifeguard championships in Queenstown as part of Recreation Aotearoa’s annual Waves Conference has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase our facilities and indeed the whole district to recreation industry leaders from across the country”.