The NZ Recreation Association Outdoor Sector awards were presented this week at a function in Wellington. YMCA Christchurch was awarded the Mountain Safety Council Organisational Excellence Award, while Mt Hutt Ski Area and Outward Bound were ‘highly commended’ in this category. This year’s Supreme Award for sector leadership was presented to Josie Ogden Schroeder, the YMCA Christchurch CEO who has given selflessly to recreation for many years both as in her career and as a volunteer. Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre took home the Environmental Leadership Award thanks to their work introducing thousands of South Island school children to the natural wonder of the Arthur’s Pass environment through attending programmes at the centre.
For Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre, this was a fantastic acknowledgment of the entirely voluntary Board of trustees and their one staff member – Logan McKelvie. Logan has been an inspirational driving force at the centre for the past 18 months. The trust board, most of whom have volunteered for Arthur Pass Outdoor Education Centre for 30 years, recently retired – handing the leadership and stewardship of the trust to the YMCA of Christchurch.
NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said the awards provided an important acknowledgement for the people and organisations whose efforts markedly improved outdoor experiences in New Zealand. “This in turn leads to stronger communities, safer outdoor experiences and happier, healthier people. It is only fitting that these people who have devoted their lives to making the world a better place receive some portion the recognition they deserve.”
The YMCA provides outdoor education and recreation experiences to literally tens of thousands of children and young people every year – via their three sites YMCA Wainui Park, the YMCA Adventure Centre and now Arthur’s Pass. The YMCA also runs a range of adventure based holiday programmes and camps around Canterbury.