Senior sporting goods figure David Denton has been awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for his services to outdoor recreation and youth.
Many New Zealanders will recall the Take a Kid Fishing (TAKF) programme Denton founded in 1988, the same year he established the New Zealand Future Fishing Foundation. He ran the TAKF programme until 2018.
It was Denton’s objective to give children a sense of confidence and self-worth by involving them in a healthy outdoor pursuit.
To keep Take a Kid Fishing free, Denton formed relationships with sponsors, retailers, clubs and associations. Among these were Isaacs Conservation and Wildlife Trust, which has provided salmon for the TAKF event for more than 20 years.
Alongside organising the TAKF programme, Denton held the role of chairman of the Kids Fishing Charitable Trust for 20 years. He has also served as the president of the New Zealand Sports Dealers Federation and an executive member of the Sports Industry Association, which, as the New Zealand Sporting Goods Association, is now part of Retail NZ.
Denton became a life member of the association in the 1990s.