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The NZCT has awarded $20,000 to the Whakatane Surf Life Saving Club in Ohope to help fund a coaching professional.
Funding Officer Karen Esterhuizen says -
Whakatane SLSC is based at Ohope Beach in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and is an integral part of the beach community, Whakatane town, and the districts of Kawerau, Opotiki, and Taneatua. We currently have approximately three hundred members, including about one hundred lifeguard volunteers and two hundred junior athletes.
Whakatane SLSC’s volunteer members patrol the beach throughout the summer months and are fully trained to make ocean rescues and attend first aid incidents. Surf programmes are available from five years plus. The club celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2008 and remains an integral part of the Ohope beachfront and wider regional surfing community.
Whakatane SLSC and its members provide surf lifesaving services to both local and regional communities. Their responsibilities include lifeguard training and development, lifesaving support services to meet the community need beyond the provision of normal patrol services, public education, membership development opportunities, junior surf programmes, and a wide range of surf sport opportunities.
We have several lifeguard athletes who train and compete over the summer months, landing three individual medals and two gold medals in the surf canoe events at the 2020 senior Nationals. Unfortunately, the 2021 and 2022 Nationals got cancelled due to Covid. We’re looking to build on this success and retain young people in our organisation both as lifeguards and athletes.
With our senior teams growing and several of our athletes showing great potential, a resolution was passed to apply for funding to pay a coach to train our young athletes to be competitive at surf carnivals and build the necessary skills to become confident lifeguards. The coaching contract runs from September 2023 to the end of August 2024.
We need a professional coach to train and develop our young surf athletes so they can develop the necessary skills to complete their lifeguard training and are fully prepared for national competitions. Thanks to this generous grant from NZCT, our club which has a long history, can continue to provide crucial lifeguarding services well into the future.