Ange Lammas, Ivan Karaitiana, and Lou Kurtz were honoured for their services to Wairarapa Dragon Boat Club. PHOTO/LINDY DANIELL

John Lazo-Ron
john.lazo-ron@age.co.nz

Three Wairarapa Dragon Boat Club members were recognised for their services to the sport last month after being honoured at a special awards night at Masterton’s Club Wairarapa.

Club captain Ange Lammas, coach Ivan Karaitiana, and member Lou Kurtz were presented with awards on the night, with one presented with a prestigious life membership.

Lammas was presented the Wendy Dymond Memorial Cup [for commitment toward all aspects of dragon boating on and off the water]; Kurtz was given the club’s Sarah Lysaght ‘Oh Bugger’ trophy [awarded to a team or person who has overcome unusual circumstances in their lives]. Karaitiana was honoured with a lifetime membership, which recognised his service and dedication to the club.

Club chairman Lindy Daniell paid tribute to three recipients, saying they thoroughly deserved the accolades after all the hard work they put into keeping the club afloat.

“I was very proud of these recipients,” Daniell said.

“Lou has shown that hard work brings results.

“Ange was chosen by her teammates for her organisational and logistical skills, her loyalty, passion and positivity for the sport.

“And Ivan has been crucial in the direction of the club.

“They worked very hard throughout the year and deserve to be honoured in this fashion.”

Daniell, in particular, gave big wraps to Karaitiana, who has been a part of the club since it was founded in 2009.

“We are particularly grateful to our coach Ivan, who has been instrumental in leading the club,” she said.

“That is why we honoured him with a life membership award. He has encouraged members with humour and extreme patience over 12 years. His loyalty and dedication to the club and its members have been unwavering.”

Karaitiana said receiving the award on the night almost brought him to tears.

“I’m over the moon, absolutely stocked, but definitely unexpected,” Karaitiana said.

“I was very close to a tear or two and a bit speechless, which was a bit odd for me because it’s not very often that I’m speechless.

“It was close,” he said of the tears.

Karaitiana said driving the club members to grow and be better gave him the most satisfaction of his role and said he was proud of what the club had achieved in its time.

“When we have a get-together like this, the girls thank me, but I tell them not to because I enjoy it,” he said.

“I’m a paddler as well, so I know there’s a lot of goals and fitness that takes hard work. Driving the ladies to be better is what it’s about. Seeing these ladies grow in their development is very rewarding.”

Karaitiana hoped more people would come on board in the upcoming season and urged others to get in contact with the club if they saw dragon boating as a way to get fit and compete.

The club trains regularly on Henley Lake during the summer season.



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