The Future Looks Bright Following Latest bp Leaders for Life Programme

Monday, 1 January 0001

The 2023/2024 edition of the bp Leaders for Life programme has wrapped up with an inspiring and emotional fifth and final workshop. 


This year, 15 emerging leaders from Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and one from Surf Life Saving Australia, aged between 20 and 35, participated in the 10-month programme. 


Belinda Slement, SLSNZ National Education Manager, said, “SLSNZ is filled with incredible young leaders, and every year we’re reminded of this through the programme.” 


On Friday, 10 May the group gathered at Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service for the three-day final workshop. 


Slement elaborated, “Our earlier workshops centred on things like self-management, relationship-building, conflict management, and effective decision-making.  During the fifth workshop, we explored how participants can lead their Surf Life Saving clubs into the future with strong leadership while navigating challenging issues like volunteerism.” 


They worked with their mentors on goals, heard from inspiring speakers including adventure racer Jamie Fitzgerald, and delivered leadership presentations which outlined their journey in the programme. 


Slement said, “Hearing about the growth that each individual had was inspiring as they navigated both ups and downs.  It was also very encouraging to listen to them speak, as I know the future of Surf Life Saving in New Zealand is in good hands, and it showed what a fantastic foundation bp Leaders for Life provides them, which goes beyond the red and yellow flags.” 


Alex Menzies from Buller Surf Rescue said the programme was a game changer for her, and she knows her club will benefit as a result. 


“The content and delivery of the programme have equipped me with the tools I need to be able to work towards growing and future-proofing my small club, while also building my confidence and knowledge in the leadership space.”  


She added that it was also a great way to build relationships within the community. 


“The friendships and networks I built during the 10 months on the programme have made me feel more connected to our organisation, our people, and our ethos.  I am inspired and excited for what lies ahead!”  


With the 2023/2024 programme now wrapped up, attention is turning to the next intake of participants. 


Slement said, “The 2024/2025 bp Leaders for Life will mark the 10th anniversary of bp supporting the programme.  We are so thankful for their support in developing our future generations of leaders.  Their backing has been instrumental as we wouldn’t be able to offer this incredible opportunity without them.” 


Haley Mahoney, bp New Zealand Head of Country, “Our partnership with bp Leaders for Life is incredibly rewarding and we are thrilled to see the impact it continues to have on emerging leaders.  This underscores the programme’s value and its positive influence not only within the Surf Life Saving community but across New Zealand as a whole.” 


The upcoming programme also had a record number of applicants. 


Slement said, “We had an overwhelming response with 77 applications.  This shows us that participants are without a doubt gaining a lot from being involved in the programme and are sharing this sentiment with other members.  It’s also encouraging for the organisation as we continue to cultivate and nurture some incredible talent.”  


The first workshop for the 2024/2025 bp Leaders for Life intake will be held from 19 to 21 July at Mount Manganui Lifeguard Service.