BP takes on the Wellington Phoenix challenge

Posted by Matt Warren on Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BP has kick-started the challenge laid down by the Wellington Phoenix yesterday in a bid to raise a further $10,000 towards the Surf Life Saving Winter Appeal.

Yesterday morning, the Wellington Phoenix issued a challenge to the New Zealand public, businesses and companies that if a fundraising target of $10,000 is reached in support of the appeal before 8am on Friday (June 28) Phoenix players will hit the water at Oriental Bay for a mid-Winter dip.

The 'Give Us a Hand Campaign,' which began on June 17 and finishes up on Sunday, aims to raise much needed funds and awareness of the essential rescue charity at a time when the beach isn't at the forefront of people's minds.

BP will match $1 for $1 up to $5,000 to help reach the target before Friday. BP Managing Director Matt Elliott, External Affairs Manager Jonty Mills and General Manager Retail Frank van Hattum, who doubles as the chairman of NZ Football, will also be taking part in the mid-Winter plunge. "If the past weeks' temperatures are anything to go by, it's going to be a chilly start to my Friday but staff from our Wellington Head Office will be there to cheer me on," says Matt.

BP has been supporting Surf Life Saving since 1968 helping build up its IRB rescue fleet; BP's sponsorship is used toward purchasing Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) and over the last 45 years, has allowed Surf Life Saving to acquire around 250 boats across 73 Surf Life Saving Clubs.

"Many of our staff and customers are avid beachgoers and we recognise the importance of having an organisation like SLSNZ patrolling the beaches. Our staff are very proud of the partnership with Surf, it feels good to know that you are part of something that means people get to go home safely from our beaches to their families," says Matt.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says the organisation is very grateful to have BP's continued support. "We're excited to have BP come forward with their offer to match $1 for $1 up to $5,000 to help reach the fundraising target before Friday. The Winter Dip is going to be a great event and we're pleased to have BP on board with us," he says.

Last season around 4000 lifeguards spent over 200,000 hours patrolling 80 beaches, saving over 1,600 lives. While most Kiwis were out enjoying their summer, volunteer lifeguards gave theirs up to help keep the community safe in the water.

But just because winter is here, it doesn't mean that they go into hiding.  While most people are craving another summer, surf lifeguards are already training for it.  

To support the Winter Appeal and ensure the Wellington Phoenix players hit the water on Friday text DIP to 4483 to automatically donate $3 or visit www.surflifesaving.org.nz/supportus to make a donation online. 

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