The Wellington Phoenix, along with the Wellington Mayor, is gearing up to brave the capital's chilly waters on Friday morning in support of Surf Life Saving's Winter Appeal.
This morning, the 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 morning, Phoenix players will hit the water at Oriental Bay for a mid-Winter Dip.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has also offered her support to join in on the event.
The 'Give Us a Hand Campaign,' which began on June 17 and finishes up on Friday, 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.
Alongside the appeal, Surf Life Saving was this month confirmed as the official charity partner to the Wellington Phoenix Football Club. This two-year partnership with New Zealand's only Hyundai A-League football team will see a number of exciting initiatives designed to mutually drive key safety messages through this arrangement between two organisations with strong links to summer.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome says the Phoenix sees this partnership as a great opportunity to work with an iconic New Zealand organisation to help spread important summer messages. "I would like to encourage all Wellington Phoenix supporters to help us get to the $10,000 milestone for Surf Life Saving, however I'm sure I'd enjoy the dip a lot more in summer than winter!" he says.
Included in the mix of players to take part in the Winter Dip on Friday morning is Captain Andrew Durante along with Mr Dome. BP Managing Director Matt Elliott has also put up his hand to represent the company as a key partner of Surf Life Saving New Zealand.
Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown is encouraging all Wellingtonians to come down on Friday and witness the splash for a good cause. "Safety on our capital's beaches and harbour is paramount," she 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.