It's been a busy first year as the chief executive of Sport Southland, where my team have been nothing but enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate about getting more Southlanders actively involved in sport and recreation.
It's that time of year again where the jolly old man in the red suit comes down the chimney and when we eat lots and be merry.
It's also that time of year when we can recharge the batteries and catch up with friends and family.
The team here at Sport Southland have put their heads together and come up with a few Christmas ideas and stocking fillers for your family, friends or work colleagues to inspire them into an active 2014.
I'm sure most of them will go well with their New Year resolutions.
Tennis racquets, golf clubs, a bike, new running shoes … there are endless examples of sports gear you could buy someone for Christmas. Who knows, you could just inspire Southland's next top cyclist, golfer or tennis player.
Get a pass
A gym pass, pool pass or a pass to try out the amazing SIT Zero Fees Velodrome would make a fantastic gift. You could go for the full year memberships, or opt for concession passes - the options are endless, but the result is the same: the chance for someone to get active and enjoy it.
You could also get vouchers to exercise classes, boot camps, or sessions with a personal trainer.
Beach cricket gear, volleyball sets, swing ball, Frisbees and anything else that enables you to have fun while being active all make for awesome stocking fillers. They also lead to some fun times over Christmas, especially when the weather is good. Bodyboards, surfboards and fishing rods could all prove hugely popular too.
Motivation to train
Entering an event is a fantastic way to increase those motivation levels over the holiday period, and a goal for 2014 could be just what that person who is hard to buy for needs. Why not get them an entry into the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic road cycle event (January 25), the BNZ Surf to City (February 9) or the MLT Moonshine Trail (February 15)? We're sure they'll thank you for it at the finish line.
A membership to a sports club - such as a golf club - is a gift that just keeps on giving year-round. Or how about a seasonal membership to a tennis club or a tramping club?
Gift vouchers for guided walks, kayaking trips, a surfing lesson or other active experiences are a great gift idea and won't be forgotten.
There are dozens of other active gift examples but, regardless of the presents, we hope all readers of The Southland Times have a very happy and safe Christmas and an active new year.
We hope to see you on the start line of at least one of our events in 2014.
- Brendon McDermott is the chief executive at Sport Southland
- The Southland Times