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Mazda Foundation helps keep Kiwi beaches safe

Mazda Foundation helps keep Kiwi beaches safe

Four surf life saving organisations across the North Island have received funding in the latest round of Mazda Foundation grants.

Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club, Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, Surf Life Saving Northern Region and Maranui Surf Life saving club have all been granted funding in the second round of Mazda Foundation grants for 2014.

Every summer Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club (WSLSC) run a Junior Surf Program. They received $6,231.00 to purchase 30 new boogie boards and five paddle boards for the children to use.

WSLSC have approximately 220 children aged 3-14 years old participating in their Junior Surf Program. They have recently experienced considerable growth in membership and struggle to provide enough equipment for the children to use in junior educational activities.

“The Surf Life Saving movement is proud to be one of the leading aquatic safety services in New Zealand and we feel that the surf awareness, surf skills and surf safety programs that we run are an integral part of producing future lifeguards,” says Gary Stevens, Club Manager, WSLSC.

“Our instructors trained and qualified 26 new surf lifeguards last summer, which is a record for the club. We feel this is a direct result of the effort that is put into our junior surf programs. This grant from the Mazda Foundation will help us supply the equipment needed to keep up with the demand.”

The Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service work hard every summer to prevent drownings at Mount Maunganui Beach, Mauao and Tauranga Harbour. They received $6,176.00 to purchase a new engine for their inflatable rescue boat (IRB) as their current one is over six years old.

Each year Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service provides over 5,000 volunteer hours patrolling beaches. The IRB is essential in providing services to the public as it is used in the majority of their water based rescues.

“Due to the nature of use and environment the boats are used in, we need to replace engine and hulls every five years to retain safe and reliable equipment,” says Glenn Bradley, General Manager, Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service.

“The boats must not only be reliable in the event of a response but also safe for use in our lifeguard’s training sessions. This generous grant from the Mazda Foundation means we can replace our IRB’s engine and continue to safely help the Mount Maunganui community.”

Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) provide lifeguard services to beaches through 17 established clubs ranging from Raglan in the Waikato to Aphipara in Northland. They received $4,464.00 to purchase nine comprehensive first aid kits to be installed in vehicles to carry out lifesaving services.

During the busy summer period SLSNR utilise nine vehicles to deliver lifesaving, educational and sporting programs and operations. All of the staff involved are qualified in first aid and bystander resuscitation.

“As part of the public service SLSNR provides throughout the Northern region, we require that all the vehicles carry a comprehensive first aid response kit in case of emergency,” says Barbara Leyland, Grants Officer, SLSNR.

“This grant from the Mazda Foundation will allow us to continue to save lives and administer aid in our community.”

Maranui Surf Life Saving club received $1,950.00 to purchase two manikins, a new born and a baby size, to carry out training and educate members on life saving skills.

The club patrol Oriental Bay beach in the city, one of the most populated beaches in the country due its proximity to the centre of town and its beauty. The current training they provide to their members enables them to be educated on how to save an adult and a child but not a newborn or baby size.

“We believe because the difference is so vast, that training on these new manikins is essential so that our members are able to successfully perform lifesaving techniques if they are faced with an incident involving a newborn or baby,” says Frances Russell, life member, Maranui Surf Life Saving Club.

“Thanks to the grant from the Mazda Foundation we are able to continually train and upskill our 200 junior members and 25 qualified lifeguards, to ensure they are able to keep the beach going public safe.”

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation says this round of grants saw an amazing number of causes apply for support and they are very humbled to be able to help so many.

“We are continually astounded by the remarkable array of inspirational organisations, community projects and individuals out there and they are all admirable in their own right.

“Whether it’s helping to keep Kiwi beaches safe across the country or any other community initiative, it’s always overwhelming to see just how much great work goes on across the country,” says Clearwater.

The Mazda Foundation has now distributed over $1.6million to 460 recipients since its establishment in 2005. The Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand.

For more information or to download an application form, visit www.mazdafoundation.org.nz

Ends

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