Rotary conference a first for Wanaka Rec Centre

Photo: Wanaka Recreation Centre. Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

Rotary conference for Wanaka

More than 300 people are attending the annual Rotary District 9980 conference being held at the Wanaka Recreation Centre this weekend, May 12 to 14.

This is the first conference to be held at the centre since it was opened in 2016 and only the second time the Wanaka Rotary Club has hosted the event.

Rotary District 9980 governor Janice Hughes (pictured) said before the centre opened there was nowhere in Wanaka that could host that number of people.

“When we first looked at hosting the conference they hadn’t even broken ground on the new centre. Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) said the recreation centre would be up and running and would more than cater for the numbers we were going to have. We took a leap of faith and said we are going to bring the conference to Wanaka in 2017 and here we are. The Wanaka Recreation Centre, QLDC and Lake Wanaka Tourism have been amazingly supportive helping us host the event,” Janice said.

The line-up for the conference includes All Blacks mental skills coach, Gilbert Enoka, who will be talking about leadership.

Also on the list of high-credential speakers is founder of Australian Thank You Group, Daniel Flynn.

The group funds safe water projects in communities in need around the world. Young New Zealander of the Year, Rez Gardi, will talk about her experiences of growing up in a refugee camp in Pakistan and Global Grant Scholar, Sakhr Munassar, will talk about how the war in Yemen brought him to where he is today.

Other speakers include celebrity game chef Angelo Georgalli; Rotary International representative Mike Webb; District 9940 governor Martin Garcia, Cure Kids partnerships manager Whitney Smith and Rotarian, actor and social media guru Evan Burrell.

The district conference will also include a Winter Wonderland Gala dinner on Saturday evening, which Janice said would ‘be a hoot’.

QLDC advises the indoor part of the Wanaka Recreation Centre will be closed to the public from midday on Thursday May 11 until Sunday May 14. Normal hours resume from 10am on Monday May 15.


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