Eastern Region Rookie Champs Put Future Surf Lifeguards to the Test

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Press Release

April 1, 2021


The Eastern Region’s Rookie Surf Lifeguards put their skills to the test last weekend as part of the Eastern Region Rookie Championships at Omanu Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) in Mt Maunganui.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Eastern Region Manager, Chase Cahalane, says the Eastern Region Rookie Championships are designed to replicate real Surf Lifesaving scenarios.

“Participants compete in individual first aid scenarios, CPR assessments and team scenarios, each designed to hone skills required to be an effective Surf Lifeguard,” he says.

Cahalane says conditions were “tough” for the water events, with competitors demonstrating extraordinary skill and knowledge throughout the competency assessments.

“These young people are the future of Surf Lifesaving and it’s important that we grow and develop their capability through events like this.”

Seven teams comprising 37 adolescents from the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel competed on the day. Waihi Beach Lifeguard Service came out on top in the team competition, pipping Papamoa Blue (of Papamoa SLSC) and Omanu SLSC, respectively.

Waihi Beach LS’ Jenna Pooley and Rosie Morley came first and second, respectively, in the girls’ competition, followed by Whiritoa SLSC’s Lucy Waters. Papamoa SLSC’s Zac Cairns took home first place for boys, followed by Waihi Beach LS’ Jack Harray and Omanu SLSC’s Cole Fraser.

The Eastern Region Rookie Championships is sponsored by Zespri, who are dedicated to supporting the future of Surf Lifesaving.

“Zespri is proud to support this iconic annual event,” says Michael Fox, Director of External Relations at Zespri. “It’s so great to see so many young people developing these vital skills to keep our communities safe.”

Cahalane and the Surf Life Saving Eastern Region team now have their eyes set on another goal; “We want every one of these young people to complete their Surf Life Saving exam next season so they can patrol the beaches with us!”




SLSNZ is the national association representing 74 surf lifesaving clubs with 18,000+ members, including more than 4,500 volunteer Surf Lifeguards. Our lifeguards patrol over 90 locations each summer and provide emergency call-out rescue services throughout Aotearoa, saving hundreds of lives each year and ensuring thousands return home safe after a day at the beach.

We do all this as a charity and rely on the generosity of the public, commercial partners, foundations and trusts for donations and financial contributions in order to lead and support our incredible front-line volunteer lifeguarding services.

 For more information, please contact:


Mackenzie Koppel

SLSNZ Media & Communications Manager

021 757 433