SLSNZ partners with Paddler to pilot NZ Virtual Surf Lifesaving Championships

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Press Release

Apr 1, 2021

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is partnering with Paddler to provide NZ’s first Virtual Surf Lifesaving Championships.  The event will open this Friday (April 2nd) and runs for the month of April, giving participants the option to race ‘virtually’ in Board, Ski & Surf Boat/Canoe disciplines over a 1000m course. While the 2021 TSB National Championships were unable to be held, this event provides another opportunity for members to keep fit, active and test themselves against their peers.

Each discipline is available to all SLSNZ members and is split into Open and U17 age divisions for both Male and Female categories. There will be an individual leaderboard for each age/gender division as well as an overall club leaderboard, which will be based off the clubs’ top 10 best times across all disciplines. Members are welcome to participate as many times as they wish.

This collaboration with Paddler signals SLSNZ’s desire to innovate and engage both members and the wider public in the sport of Surf Life Saving in a different way.

Paddler aims to engage the wider paddling community, from Ocean Skis, K1’s, Waka and SUP through the delivery of virtual events, information and training tools. Surf Lifesaving Championships is another key group in the water sport community. Canoe Racing NZ is the parent organization for Paddler, with CEO Tom Ashley seeing huge potential in the collaboration:

“We’re stoked to work with Surf Lifesaving NZ to offer this new virtual event. Our goal with Paddler is to bring the different paddle sports communities together and inspire people in their paddling journeys. Surf Lifesaving is an amazing sport and a really key part of Aotearoa’s watersports and paddling culture, so is a natural fit for the community we’re trying to build with Paddler. We can’t wait to see heaps of clubbies getting involved and to share some cool stories of their efforts in the virtual challenge.”

Similarly, SLSNZ Sport Manager Lewis McClintock expressed excitement: “This is new territory for us and an opportunity to test some different theories around event delivery, like removing geographical barriers, allowing participants to self-select how they participate and to foster connection through the online element. We’re really excited to see how this is received by the SLS membership and the potential scope for this type of event in the future”.

For all the information on how to participate, visit Paddler