bp Leaders For Life

Investing in our People. Investing in our Future. 

bp Leaders for Life is SLSNZ's premier leadership development programme for current and emerging club leaders aged 20-35 years.

This is an excellent opportunity for candidates to improve their leadership skills, as well as create relationships and connections across clubs and regions throughout NZ. The programme content will also aid you in your career outside of surf lifesaving. The ultimate objective is to upskill and retain our people with the view that they can lead their clubs and our movement into a sustainable and vibrant future. 


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bp Leaders for Life Programme Philosophy

  • Strength-based: Builds on existing strengths and the application of those strengths to be an effective leader
  • Tailored: Informed by both individual aspirations and requirements of the leadership role.
  • Personal responsibility: Leaders take responsibility for their own learning and application of that learning.
  • Accessible: Leadership support is available when it's needed.
  • Development support: Adult learning principles; 'learn - do - reflect'

Benefits & Outcomes for bp Leaders for Life Participants

  • Expanded awareness of your leadership strengths and areas for improvement
  • Increased ability to communicate in an effective and compelling manner
  • Greater understanding of how to build trust and be influential
  • Improved ability to engage and mobilise others
  • Deeper understanding of how to build constructive relationship and lead change
  • Team leadership personal profiler (self-refection tool) completed by Team Management Services NZ
  • Increased connection with the wider Surf Lifesaving community
  • Learn more about yourself and others from challenge, success and failure, self reflection and feedback.
  • High-profile guest speakers who will speak about their leadership experiences, leading for impact and leading for change
  • Personalised leadership mentoring


The impact of bp Leaders for Life is enormous and is best evidenced by the impact that these young leaders are having at a club, community and national level for surf life saving as well as in their professional careers. Our graduates are taking up numerous roles across surf life saving including board & committee members, lead instructors, examiners, & patrol auditor positions as well as returning to the programme as bp Leaders for Life programme facilitators and mentors. We are incredibly proud of their achievements. 




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With the support of SLSNZ’s major partner bp, the course – which normally costs $4000 per person – is heavily subsidized, resulting in an affordable fee of only $450 per person (which includes travel and accommodation). Successful candidates attend a series of workshops across the country throughout the year, each focused on a different set of leadership skills.

Application Criteria

  • Current SLSNZ member
  • Aged between 20 - 35 years
  • Participants will be current or emerging leaders at club level
  • You need to be able to attend all 5 workshops throughout the country
  • You will have aspirations to make a real difference and recognise your need to develop as a leader
  • Your club must endorse your application and provide a letter of support outlining your suitability to attend the bp Leaders for Life. 
  • Once the applications have closed, a short list of candidates will be selected to proceed through to an interview stage. From then, a group of 15 candidates will be selected for this year's programme. 

Key Dates

  • Workshop 1 – Bay of Plenty: 19, 20, 21 July 2024
  • Workshop 2 - Christchurch: 21 & 22 September 2024
  • Workshop 3 - Auckland: 9 & 10 November 2024
  • Workshop 4 - Wellington: 1 & 2 March 2025
  • Workshop 5 – Bay of Plenty: 9, 10, 11 May 2025

Applications for the 2024-2025  intake have now closed.



  • Who is eligible? SLSNZ members aged 20-35 are eligible to apply
  • Is there a cost? The majority of this progamme is funded by SLSNZ and bp. As with most member education, there is a user pays charge. This amount of $450 will be invoiced to your club and the club will then have the option of paying for it, or asking the user to pay.
  • Can I apply to be a part of a programme even if I've already participated in an SLSNZ leadership programme in the past? Absolutely!
  • When does bp Leaders for Life start and how long does it go for? The programme starts in June/July each year and runs for 10 months. 
  • Can I do the programme with friends? Your friends may also apply, but there is no guarantee that they will be on the programme with you. However, you will definitely make a great deal of new friends and contacts through bp Leaders for Life
  • Can SLSNZ staff be a part of bp Leaders for Life? Yes, as long as they are a member of a club.

Leadership Mentor

Mentors are a key link between the skills taught in our bp Leaders for Life Leadership programme and the integration of these skills into practice. They will serve as a key support resource for candidates in programme, have a passion for enabling people to reach their potential and a genuine interest in the development of leaders.

Candidates are a mix of emerging and experienced leaders who are actively involved in some form of leadership at club or regional level.

Graduates in our last programme benefited immensely from their mentors assisting with their leadership development. This aligns with our national leadership and member development strategies. By growing leaders and developing programmes to nurture emerging leaders, our whole organisation benefits. This mentor role adds another layer of leadership growth to each candidate.


What are we looking for?

  • We are looking for 8-10 leadership mentors from around New Zealand to support participants in the 2024/2025 bp Leaders for Life programme.
  • We are especially looking for people with a genuine interest in the development of leaders, strong empathy for people and a passion for enabling people to reach their potential.
  • Mentors who have experience in mentoring or coaching people in their own development, either within surf lifesaving and/or their professional lives. They will understand the principles of effective mentoring and will be able to point to a track record of developing people.
  • Mentors to support candidates who will be a mix of emerging and experienced leaders and who will be actively involved in some form of leadership at club or regional level.

Each mentor will be paired with 2 programme candidates. The leadership mentors will be expected to meet (face to face or online) with their paired candidate a minimum of 6 times during the programme.

It is likely that each mentor will retain an on-going mentoring relationship with their candidates for the 12 months following the programme. In some cases, these relationships may extend over a number of years.

Each candidate will, with their mentor will establish an appropriate personal development plan based on their TMS Personal Profile, current leadership challenges and future ambitions.

Mentors will attend the final bp Leaders for Life workshop to watch their candidate’s leadership presentations, to be held on Saturday 10th May 2025.


Process & Criteria

  • Current SLSNZ member
  • Minimum 25yrs old
  • Leadership Mentors will be overseen by the lead programme facilitator and SLSNZ National Education Manager, Belinda Slement.
  • You will be expected to participate in an online induction meeting. This will be prior to the start of this year’s leadership programme.
  • There will be on-going learning and development opportunities. It is anticipated the leadership mentors will support each other in the sharing of knowledge and ideas via a group forum.
  • You will be expected to report on participant progress throughout the programme to SLSNZ.
  • Note; this is a voluntary role.

Applications for the 2024-2025 mentor intake have now closed.