Yachting New Zealand Board Director, ISAF Council member and well known yachtsman, Ralph ROBERTS (MBE and JP) has been awarded the highly prestigious SPARC Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ralph ROBERTS, whose involvement with yachting spans decades, was one of three leaders in sport presented the Award at a ceremony for the inaugural New Zealand Sport and Recreation Sector Awards in Hamilton last night. Other recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 were Lois MUIR, OBE DCNZM and Peter FITZSIMMON, OBE.
Sir Wilson WHINERAY, who led the independent judging panel, said the award winners thoroughly deserved to be recognised by their peers in this way. "These three individuals are passionate and dedicated New Zealanders who have made an enormous contribution as sportspeople and sports administrators," Sir Wilson said.
ROBERTS was President of the New Zealand Yachting Federation between 1986 and 1989 and was awarded the MBE for services to yachting and sport in 1993. He competed at the Olympic Games in 1960 and 1968 and was reserve crew in 1964. In 1984 ROBERTS was Sectional Manager of the New Zealand Olympic sailing team that won two gold medals and a bronze, and in 1992 he was Chef d'Mission for the New Zealand Olympic Team.
ROBERTS is a member of the ISAF Council
, Review Board as well as ISAF's Youth World Championship Sub-Committee. He is a past winner of numerous National Yachting titles, has been Commodore of the Takapuna Boating Club, is their current President and a Life Member and is a trustee of Habour Sports. Ralph is married to Penny, has six children, six grand children and lives in Takapuna, Auckland.
At last night's ceremony Awards were also presented to recognise excellence in innovation, leadership, events, project collaboration and commercial partnership. Yachting New Zealand's Sailing... Have a Go! Programme which provides young New Zealanders with the opportunity to try sailing was one of three finalists for the Innovation Award. Bowls New Zealand's Mates in Bowls was announced the winner in this category.