Nippers to Olympians

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Olympics Games are just around the corner and Surf Life Saving New Zealand is proud to have a few of their own competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Swimming and kayaking are the two events where you can catch a glimpse of the ten talented athletes striving for success on the international stage.

Tash Hind, Dylan Dunlop-Barrett, Andy McMillan, and Steven Kent all made it into the swim squad, while Erin Taylor, Lisa Carrington, Teneale Hatton, Steven Ferguson, Darryl Fitzgerald, and Luuka Jones will be hitting the water for canoeing/kayaking.

Competing in surf lifesaving carnivals over the years has been an influential stepping stone for these athletes which have allowed their talents to be discovered. Many of the athletes thank Surf Life Saving for giving them a chance to learn the ins and outs of competing from a young age.

Although they all live life as professional athletes, the Olympians still manage to find time to get amongst the club environment and make a positive impact where possible. Whether it is a day on the beach lifeguarding or giving a speech at the local prize giving, these athletes are seen as an inspiration to all ages and levels.

Chief executive of Surf Life Saving New Zealand Paul Dalton said "To have highly successful role models willing to stay connected to their roots is a privilege for the organisation. Many of our younger athletes aspire to their success and hope to walk in their shoes one day. We wish them the best of luck."

Lifesaving, sport and education are the three key aspects of Surf Life Saving, with lifesaving being the core focus of the non-profit organisation. To be eligible to compete in surf sports, competitors need to have clocked up a minimum number of hours volunteering as lifeguards each season.