Two Surf Life Saving Clubs win a safer summer for their communities

Posted by SLSNZ Media on Sunday, November 16, 2014

Otaki and Brighton beaches will soon each have a brand new $25,000 Surf Life Saving boat after their local Surf Life Saving Clubs won the BP Click for your Club competition that got the whole community involved - thousands of times.

The two clubs, from the Kapiti Coast and Otago, together managed to pull in nearly 30,000 online votes over three weeks of the national competition, calling on community groups, schools, shops, and members of their community to show their support by voting for them online.

BP launched the competition giving away two Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) for the second year running in recognition of the important role the rescue boats play in helping to save hundreds of lives across the country every year.

Last year alone, lifeguards across the country saved 1,027 lives - with about 60% of these involving an IRB.

BP Corporate Affairs Manager Jonty Mills said the efforts made by the clubs and the support from their communities was impressive.

"We've been incredibly impressed by the strength of passion shown by the clubs throughout the competition. They've been out there drumming up support, reminding their communities about the essential role Surf Lifeguards play in keeping them safe. The support they've received is testament to how much these boats matter to their communities," he says.

BP offered clubs around the country the chance to win a brand new IRB, with one being won in the North Island and one in the South. Six finalists were selected (three from each island) to compete to drum up community support, encouraging supporters to go online daily, to watch a video about their club, and to vote for them.

The competition closed at midnight last night (Sunday 16 November) with Brighton Surf Life Saving Club gathering 16,245 votes and Otaki Surf Life Saving Club pulling in a total of 12,982 votes.

The boats will be delivered to the clubs in the next couple of weeks.

"These boats are incredibly important, but we also know it's really difficult for voluntary clubs to raise the funds for a new boat," Mr Mills said. "That's why we have been so pleased to be able to offer two clubs the chance to win. For anyone heading to Brighton and Otaki beaches this summer, this boat might just save your life."

Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton said "it's like Christmas has come early for these two clubs. With IRBs being used in around 60% of rescue, they are well utilised but they're also a significant investment when they need replacing. These new boats will be of great assistance in their rescue operations this summer and beyond."

Every summer, around 4,000 volunteer lifeguards across 74 clubs nationwide give over 200,000 hours of their time patrolling our beaches and helping to keep New Zealand beach-goers safe. BP has been partnering with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for over 45 years, working together to build up one of the most advanced rescue fleets in the world.

To help support the Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal, text the word 'RESCUE' to 849 to automatically donate $3 or visit www.surflifesaving.org.nz

You can watch Otaki and Brighton's video stories at www.clickforyourclub.co.nz

For more information please contact: 

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823
Email lisa.honeybone@surflifesaving.org.nz

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