Eighteen Surf Lifeguards were put through their paces last weekend as they aimed to achieve the highest qualification when it comes to lifesaving in New Zealand.
Whangamata turned on the weather for the 2016 National Lifeguard School with the club hosting and assisting at the school with the support of Surf Life Saving instructors and mentors.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand member development manager Belinda Slement says across the weekend the candidates developed their skills and knowledge in patrol operations, advanced first aid, helicopter operations, search and rescue, Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) skills, rock navigations and rock rescues in an effort to gain their Advanced Lifeguard Award.
"It was a jam-packed weekend with all candidates giving 100% effort and commitment to the camp," she says.
The honour of top candidate was awarded to Sophrose London from Otaki Surf Life Saving Club.
Belinda says she showed a high level of development throughout the weekend in all areas of the school and demonstrated a willingness to learn and apply her knowledge.
"She displayed an outstanding attitude and showed great support for her fellow candidates throughout the weekend. We look forward to seeing Sophrose continue to develop her lifeguarding in future years," she says.
Part of Surf Life Saving's partnership with Zespri, which was formed earlier this year, sees a number of scholarships available for the annual National Lifeguard School to cover the user-pays component of the course cost for Eastern Region candidates.
Zespri External Relations Manager Nick Kirton says they're proud to support this year's three candidates, Joe Cooke (Hot Water Beach), Carter Brydon (Whangamata) and Kaitlyn Pennell (Pauanui), through the National Lifeguard School.
"Providing free training for local lifeguards is our way of recognising the everyday heroes who do so much for our communities, keeping our beaches safer for everyone to enjoy."
2016 National Lifeguard School top candidate Sophrose London.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager,
Phone 0276 488 823