Award recognises Jiu Jitsu Academy’s contribution to wellbeing of children
Katikati’s Lance Campbell was awarded a Kiwibank Local Hero award as part of the 2019 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.
From 750 nominees, he was one of 17 Bay winners in the Local Heroes category, honoured for their services to community at a special medal presentation ceremony at the Classic Flyers Museum in Mount Maunganui.
Humbled by the honour, Campbell said the Local Hero award recognises the positive work that not only he does, but also everyone involved in the Jiu Jitsu Academy are doing to promote and foster a great community culture built on strong values, respect, honesty, integrity, compassion, hard work, courage and work ethic. He started the academy in Katikati with a focus on self defence for children, youth and adults.
Julia Faulkner who nominated Campbell was at the ceremony. She said she nominated him for a combination of things.
“Lance has helped my son and my nephew. Since starting Jiu Jitsu over the past year they have both become amazing young guys. Both are graded and have been successful in achieving higher belts.
“He is amazing with the kids, not only my two but the others in the club.”
Lance doesn’t see the positive effect he has, she said.
“I thought he was such an unsung hero and so humble — he never steps forward himself.”
Campbell said he did not consider himself a hero as there are people all over NZ who do what he does everyday.
“The heroes are the parents of our kids who see the benefit in what we are doing and therefore bring their kids to training every week.
“The heroes are the people — mums, dads, youth — who want to make a positive change in their lives, whether physical or mental and therefore have the courage to do something that is completely out of their comfort zone. The heroes are the kids and adults who walk through the door every week to face their fears head on — not me.”
He and wife Kylie have seen the many positive changes that Jiu Jitsu has had in people’s lives over the years.
“We are passionate about people becoming the best version of themselves and making positive sustainable life changes, and Jiu Jitsu is a vehicle that we know can deliver this.”
The couple, who have three children, are also involved in the Katikati Wrestling Club and cross promote the two disciplines as they compliment each other providing many of the same benefits.
Nominations have now closed for the 2019 New Zealander of the Year Awards. With close to 1800 nominations — 488 for the New Zealander of the Year category.
Lance Campbell with some of the children he trains in Jiu Jitsu at the Katikati Wrestling Club.
(Left): Kiwibank’s Murray Nelmes, Lance Campbell and Tauranga Deputy Mayor Kevin Clout at the awards ceremony.