USO Bike Ride wins Regional Community Awards

16 Nov 2018

USO Bike Ride, a whānau that uses cycling to promote better health and wellbeing for Pacific and Māori, won the Supreme Award at the 2018 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards last night.

The USO Bike Ride kaupapa is simple, get regular medical checks, be smokefree, eat healthy, minimise alcohol use and exercise regularly. Through cycling events, they empower their community to speak up and be open about health and other issues that prevent them from reaching their potential.

Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport, said USO Bike Ride embodied the spirit of the Regional Community Awards. “The team from USO Bike Ride are passionate about empowering their community, working together to make a difference and improve health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to celebrate the contribution of community group volunteers the with the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards each year. The caliber of finalists this year was exceptional and we congratulate all the winning groups and their volunteers.”

“We had this vision that more Pacific and Māori people would be cycling on our road, and we could see it in Porirua and throughout Aotearoa.” said Talalelei Taufale from USO Bike Ride on receiving the award. “But it’s about more than just sharing the road. It's about us as a community, as a nation, leading the world in how we should live a better-quality health and wellbeing lifestyle. Thank you to our sponsors, lead riders and other whanau that make USO special.”

Roger Palairet, Chair of Wellington Community Trust said: “This was my first year of judging the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards as Chair of the Wellington Community Trust. I was so impressed with the breadth and depth of the voluntary sector in the Wellington region. The creativity of ideas and the length of service and dedication of volunteers is truly impressive. “There are no winners and losers with these Awards, the celebration is a coming together of wonderful winners from across our region”.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the awards. Wellington Airport and Wellington Community Trust have contributed significant time and investment to the awards over the past fifteen years, recognising hundreds of community groups across the region.

Wellington Airport also awarded five local high school students $3000 scholarships in the Wild at Heart Spirit Awards. These winners demonstrate self-motivation in service to their community and college.

Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2018 Winners

  • Supreme Award: USO Bike Ride
  • Arts and Culture: Tape Art New Zealand
  • Education and Child/Youth Development: The Shed Project Kapiti
  • Health and Wellbeing: Every Body Is a Treasure Charitable Trust
  • Heritage and Environment: Ghost Fishing New Zealand
  • Sport and Leisure: USO Bike Ride
  • Rising Star Award: WELLfed

Wild at Heart Spirit Award Scholarship recipients:

  • Ethan Makisi - Rongotai College
  • Evana Philip - St Catherine’s College
  • James Reilly - St Patrick’s College
  • Jackson Lacy - Scots College
  • Hailey Kapadia - Wellington East Girls’ College

ENDS

Issued by: Wellington International Airport Limited

Background on the Community Awards

The Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards begin at the municipal level with the greater Wellington region’s five councils awarding volunteer organisations in their local community under the following categories: Art & Culture, Education and Youth Development. Health and Wellbeing, Heritage and Environment, Sport and Leisure, plus a Rising Star Award.

2018 marks the 15th Anniversary of the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards. Wellington Airport and Wellington Community Trust have contributed significant time and investment to the awards over the past fifteen years, recognising hundreds of community groups across the region.

The finalists from each region then go forward to the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards in association with Wellington Community Trust for the overall award in their category, and the opportunity to be named Supreme Winner and represent the Wellington Regions at the Trustpower National Community Awards early next year.

Citations

Art & Culture category winner and Supreme Award – Tape Art New Zealand

Tape Art New Zealand make and facilitate civic scaled collaborative public art works from unexpected materials. They develop projects that support people of all ages, cultures and circumstances to actively participate in visual culture making in their own streets. Watch video

Education & Child/Youth Development category winner – The Shed Project Kapiti

The Shed Project have a vision to create and inclusive society irrespective of abilities, where everyone is valued as contributing members of the community. They provide work experience, skill training, creative art, woodwork skills, kapa haka and percussion programs, fitness, social and recreational events. Watch video

Health & Wellbeing category winner – Every Body Is a Treasure Charitable Trust

Every Body is a Treasure is a group of playfully adventurous women that support girls to stay powerful right through adulthood. They hold mother-daughter workshops using their arts and movement based body compassion toolbox. They are developing gritty girls with magnificent mojo to lead compassionate communities. Watch video

Heritage & Environment category winner – Ghost Fishing New Zealand

Ghost Fishing is a voluntary clean up team who promote environmental conservation through regular clean ups of the Wellington marine environment using scuba and free divers, and a dedicated shore support team. Hundreds of kilos of rubbish is removed monthly. Watch video

Sport & Leisure category winner – USO Bike Ride

USO Bike Ride is a whānau that uses cycling to promote better health and wellbeing. Their kaupapa is simple, get regular medical checks, be smokefree, eat healthy, minimise alcohol use and exercise regularly. They empower their community to speak up and be open about health and other issues that prevent them from reaching their potential. Watch video

Rising Star Award winner – WELLfed

WELLfed provides opportunities for communities to learn, grow and be inspired together. They provide weekly cooking classes within a fun, uplifting learning environment which is achieving rippling social changes. They passionately believe that all people across Aotearoa can be empowered with choices, skills and resources for living well. Watch video

$3000 Wild at Heart Spirit Award Scholarship recipients

Ethan Makisi - Rongotai College

Ethan is a committed student leader at Rongotai College, serving as Arts Captain, Prefect and Board of Trustees representative. He has founded a student choir, organised and performed at community events and worked to break down barriers to music and the arts. Ethan is an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Evana Philip - St Catherine’s College

Evana is an enthusiastic student leader from St Catherine's College. Her role as Mercy Crew Leader sees her planning and participating in a variety of community projects with organisations including St Vincent de Paul, the Home of Compassion and Caritas. She regularly volunteers at the Vincentian Home.

James Reilly - St Patrick’s College

James is a compassionate student leader and Prefect at St Patrick's College. He regularly volunteers for the Compassion Soup Kitchen, Vinnies group and as a rest home visitor. He is a member of the Pinnacle Mentoring Programme and last year, received the Wellington City Council Absolutely Positive Student Award.

Jackson Lacy - Scots College

Jackson is an empathetic student leader from Scots College, serving as iTeam Prefect, captain of the premier debating team and establishing a House mentoring system. He is passionate about young people and youth issues, volunteering as Kaiwhakahaere for TEDxYouth@TeAro, Youth Councillor for Wellington City Youth Council, and High School Ambassador for UN Youth Wellington.

Hailey Kapadia - Wellington East Girls’ College

Hailey is a diligent student leader at Wellington East Girls' College. Her role as Charities Prefect has seen her at the forefront of charity events at the school and in the community, including volunteering at the Compassion Soup Kitchen, organising blood drives, and charity collections. She is also a leader of the East Lighting crew supporting school and community events.