First all-female lifeguard patrol at Piha keeps beachgoers safe this summer

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

This summer saw a stellar all-female team take the reins of the lifeguard patrol at Piha. This was the first time a female-only team had carried out a weekday patrol, keeping people safe at this busy Auckland beach during the peak summer season.

The team of five wāhine was made up of Liana (Piha SLSC & 2021 Regional Lifeguard of the Year), Valentina (Piha SLSC), Sam (Mount Maunganui LS), Elise (Mairangi Bay SLSC), Olivia (Red Beach SLSC).  

While it was the debut for an all-female line-up to take charge of the summer weekday patrol at Piha, the group has a wealth of surf lifesaving knowledge and experience under their belt; including IRB driver, crew and instructor certifications, first aid awards, SurfCom operator, intermediate guard school instructor, patrol and vice patrol captain and 2021 regional lifeguard of the year. 

The day’s patrol ran smoothly with no incidents taking place, no doubt with thanks to the team working together to avert potential problems.  

Beyond this landmark all-female patrol day, there have been a host of senior female lifeguards working alongside their male counterparts at Piha this summer. 

A ‘can-do’ attitude is the common trait for these go-getter lifeguards who are determined to seize every opportunity to develop their lifesaving skills and expertise. Quite rightly they have refused to let gender limit what they can achieve in the world of lifesaving and beyond. 

Liana’s advice to girls in lifesaving is, “Being a female is absolutely not a disadvantage and if you have the courage to put yourself out there are people who will definitely support you, go get 'em!” and Olivia encourages them to ‘Take every opportunity, as they can lead to even more opportunities”.  

Val also offers these words of wisdom, “You can do anything you want and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. But if they do, just do it anyhow, and do it better!”  

These young women are an inspiring bunch of lifesaving wāhine with their proactive approach and positive outlook.