Zespri supports Eastern Region candidates for 2016 BP Leaders for Life

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Three local lifeguards took part in the first BP Leaders for Life workshop of 2016 in Wellington over the weekend with the support of Zespri.

Waihi Beach Surf Life Saving Club's Jessica Blair has been a lifeguard for five years and the 19-year-old took a break from her university physiotherapy studies for a few days to improve her lifeguarding skills as a Patrol Captain and Instructor.

Through this year's programme, she hopes to gain and improve skills such as communication and problem solving. "I look forward to working with other highly qualified members from around New Zealand who I hope I can learn off and create contacts and support networks with," she says.

Part of Surf Life Saving's partnership with Zespri, which was formed in February, sees a number of scholarships available for the BP Leaders for Life programme each year to cover the user-pays component of the course cost for Eastern Region candidates.

The three Eastern Region candidates, Jessica Blair (Waihi Beach Surf Life Saving Club), Kate Boersen and Daniel Gordon (both Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club) are the recipients of this year's Zespri scholarships.

Jess says she feels privileged to have been given this opportunity as it might not have been possible without Zespri's support. "I hope the skills I gain can be seen and shared amongst my surf club, Surf Life Saving and the community."

The purpose of the BP Leaders for Life programme is to enhance the ability of current and emerging leaders within the Surf Life Saving community to make a real difference to their clubs and across the wider organisation.

Twenty-one year-old Dan is a student at the University of Waikato, in his final year of a Bachelor of Management Studies, majoring in accounting. He started off as an eight year-old nipper in the Pauanui Junior Surf program and some of the kids he met then are still some of his best friends today.

Short term, he plans to continue developing lifeguards within his club through training IRB candidates and instructors. Long term, he hopes to become more involved on the administration side of the club and be on the club and local lifesaving committees. "Through developing my leadership skills, I can continue to make a difference on the beach and also help others make a difference," he says.

His fellow club member Kate (23) who currently lives in Napier, is a community Science Coordinator at East Coast Life at the Boundary.

She jumped straight into surf lifesaving when she was 14 years-old and loves working alongside other lifeguards, knowing that they care as much as she does about helping to keep the beach safe.

"I feel very lucky to be part of the Surf Life Saving movement. From the day I joined to now I have learnt so many new skills, developed great friendships and have enjoyed every day out on the beach patrolling, in the club instructing and in the water training. Being selected for BP Leaders for Life and the Zespri scholarship is such a great opportunity for me and hopefully for the rest of my club," she says.

All of the 18 candidates will take part in three workshops together in Wellington, the first being held last weekend, followed by workshop two from July 9-10 and workshop three from August 20-22.

To learn more about BP Leaders for Life, click here.


Daniel Gordon, Kate Boersen and Jessica Blair.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823