New Plymouth Old Boys Swimming and Surf Club

Aspiring lifeguards will be learning how to save lives with quality equipment this summer thanks to a grant from the Mazda Foundation.

The New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Club, which provides a volunteer service to prevent drowning and injury at Oakura Beach, has received $2446 for three rescue boards for training youth members with the skills they need.

We are absolutely rapped to receive this grant. The boards are especially designed for the size of young children. The youth section is an area that we are always trying to establish and being able to provide extra gear for them helps us reach our goal,” says the Club’s Administrator Lynell Taunoa.

The Mazda Foundation grant will aid future life guards – Nippers, Rookies and Cadets ranging in age from 5 to 14 – in their surf life saving training programme.

The programme involves water and land activities and sessions are held throughout the summer months and there are local competitions that all club members can compete in.

The rescue boards are essential for the training and will be put to good use now the 2006/2007 surf life saving season has kicked off.

“Surf life saving is great for the young ones. It is fantastic because good friendships are made and they develop life skills,” says Lynell.

Youth members are encouraged to sit a surf life saving certificate and when they turn 14 they sit the Surf Life Guard award.

After obtaining this award, they move up a level and compete with the senior section of the club and become a patrol member.

There are many career paths qualified surf life savers can take, from becoming a Paid Life Guard, Search and Rescue or Coach Force Coaching to a Beach Education Instructor, Coaching and Administrator or management roles.