Inspirational outdoors-people celebrated

Andy Thompson has been acknowledged for his contribution to outdoor education, receiving a rare Life Membership Award from the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors’ Association (NZOIA).

In addition, one of our Outdoor Leadership and Management students, Sam McComb, received an Excellence Award, aimed at students who have a passion for outdoor instruction and show great potential for further involvement in the industry beyond their studies

The awards were presented at the annual NZOIA Excellence Awards dinner at Mangakino over the weekend.

Andy has spent more than 30 years in outdoor instruction and education, including 17 years as Programme Coordinator for our own Diploma in Outdoor Leadership in Management. He served on NZOIA’s Board, including two years as Chair, and has worked as an Antarctic Field Trainer, Army Adventure Training instructor, Mt Cook Search and Rescue team member, and World Challenge Expedition Leader.

He is the first person to be presented with a prestigious NZOIA Life Membership Award in five years.

“Andy has made a tremendous contribution to the sector and earned the respect of his peers for his humour, hard work and determination to make the industry better,” says NZOIA Chair Gillian Wratt. “Over the years he has mentored and inspired hundreds of instructors, many of whom have gone on to play leadership roles in their own right.”

Our warm congratulations to both Andy and Sam!