The “Ace Cuthers Memorial Club Spirit Award” is a trophy that is chosen by Volunteers and Officials at the event. This trophy was carved and named in honour of Greg 'Ace' Cuthers who we sadly lost in 2010.
In 2011 Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa (Waka Ama New Zealand) initiated 2 new trophies to be awarded annually at the Sprint Nationals. The Trophies were carved by Matahi Whakataka Brightwell who has been instrumental in the re-birth and growth of the sport of Waka Ama in Aotearoa.
Ace was a special man in the history of our sport and was instrumental in helping the sport of Waka Ama get to where it is today. The “Ace Cuthers Memorial Club Spirit Award” takes into consideration actions of the club throughout the week, their performance on and off the water. The club that overwhelmingly optimises the values of Waka Ama; Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Hauora , Tu Tangata, and of course the memory of Ace himself.
The winning club in 2020 was Hei Matau Paddlers, they were presented with the trophy by Louise Henderson, and Matahi Brightwell .
Hei Matau Paddlers were consistent throughout the entire week and volunteers made mention of them often. As a club they embodied the values of Waka Ama throughout the; Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Hauora, Tū Tangata. From the start of the week from dropping waka off to helping our tamariki when the weather wasn't playing along and the list goes on.
Thank-you Hei Matau Paddlers for your contribution to the 31sr Waka Ama Sprint Nationals and congratulations on being the recipients of this years Ace Cuthers Memorial Club Spirit Award.