Whangamata lifeguard Mitch Jensen has achieved the highest award when it comes to lifeguarding in New Zealand.
The 21 year-old gained his Advanced Lifeguard Award while attending Surf Life Saving New Zealand's National Lifeguard School in Whiritoa over the weekend. Of the 18 lifeguards who took part, Mitch gained the top candidate award for the school.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Member Development Manager Belinda Slement says there was a very high standard of candidates at the school who all demonstrated a high standard of lifeguard skills and elements from rock navigations, helicopter operations, advanced IRB skills and scenarios.
Mrs Slement says gaining your Advanced Lifeguard Award through the National Lifeguard School is a big deal amongst lifeguards and finishing as the top candidate of the school is a real honour.
"Mitch showed a high competence and skill level throughout all elements of the school, even with a storm rolling through Whiritoa on the Saturday night, which made the surf conditions particularly challenging on the Sunday," she says.
National Lifeguard Schools are something that lifeguards aspire to. They combine dynamic theory sessions with a number of intensive practical and scenario based activities extending participants both physically and mentally - honing already advanced skills.
Lifeguards who successfully complete a National Lifeguard School with all the required prerequisites are then awarded their Advanced Lifeguard Award - the highest award for surf lifeguards in New Zealand.
This year, due to the overwhelming amount of applications, SLSNZ has chosen to undertake two National Lifeguard Schools. The next school will take place at Fitzroy in Taranaki from February 13-15, 2015.
Top candidate Mitch Jensen with Head Instructor Gavin Mason.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823