Longtime fencer and competitive fencing legend Paul van Beers from Pōrangahau in Hawke’s Bay was one of three people recognised at the inaugural Fencing Contractors Association of NZ awards announced in New Plymouth earlier this month.
The association has replaced the lifetime membership award, which has been presented twice before, with re-invigorated Legacy Awards, a special and infrequently awarded honour that bestows honorary Life Membership and recognises significant contributions to the fencing industry.
Van Beers was presented with the Legacy Award, the first recipient of the award.
He has won the Golden Pliers 13 times and the Fieldays Silver Spades 14 times, including a win alongside his son Jason in 2015.
Van Beers has also won the World Power Fencing Competition in Germany twice.
Taylor Barr, from Tawai Fencing in Kimbolton, won the Emerging Talent – Youth Award for under-25s.
The award acknowledges those who have shown a commitment to fencing as a career and demonstrated growth and excellence in their workplace.
Nominated by their employers, the three finalists were assessed by an independent panel.
The Trainee of the Year was Michael Conijn from Custom Fencing in Dunedin.
The award recognises a worker enrolled in a NZQA National Certificate in Fencing Level 3 course during 2022 who has demonstrated to the tutor that they have excellent knowledge and skills in fence line installation.
There were four finalists for this award.