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New generation surf life savers supported by Xbox

December 18, 2002

New generation of surf life savers
gets support from Xbox

A new sponsorship of Northern Region Junior Surf Life Saving will help support the recruitment and retention of young New Zealanders to the volunteer service.

Microsoft New Zealand's Xbox video games system is providing a cash sponsorship of $25,000 to support the Northern Region's summer 2002/03 programme.

The Junior Surf Programme involves children between the ages of seven and 13 participating in organised surf beach activity. The programme prepares youngsters for the Surf Lifeguard Award at the age of 14 that enables them to patrol beaches.

Surf Life Saving Northern Region is a volunteer organisation providing surf rescue patrols at 17 beaches from Raglan in the south to Kaitaia in the north. The region covers 42 per cent (1.2 million people) of the population of New Zealand.

"The Xbox involvement represents a great boost for junior surf life saving," says Tim Jago, the Northern Region president. "These youngsters are the future of the service and we work hard to encourage them to go on to senior ranks.

"The programmes supported by Xbox are designed to identify and foster the up and coming stars for the success of the movement.

"Xbox is a brand that appeals to young people and one that they identify with so the sponsorship is not only valuable in funding terms but also it attracts youngsters to become involved."

Xbox New Zealand marketing manager Wilf Robinson says the brand has a policy of supporting activities and events that are important to communities. "Xbox is a lifestyle brand. Beach and surf are important parts of our summer lifestyle and fall into the entertainment category. The sport is a good fit for our entertainment brand and at the same time it is satisfying to us to support such an important activity."

"We are very pleased that Xbox is able to help us make our beaches safer for all New Zealanders," says Tim Jago, the Northern Region president.

"Junior surf life saving works to ensure there are qualified lifeguards in the years to come. These volunteers make our beaches a safer and happier place and enable us to leverage this wonderful facet of NZ life."

Junior surf life saving activities include surf carnivals and parent coaching days, land and water based events culminate in the Northern Region Junior Surf Championships.

Currently there are about 1,000 seven to 14 year-olds from 16 clubs in the Northern Region involved in the programme.

Junior Surf coaching also trains volunteer adults and parents how to coach the youngsters in beach safety, first aid, surf rescue and competition activities.

It also aids their personal development by helping them work as a team, mix with adults and peers, support one another and how to compete fairly.

" In the 2001/02 season, Northern Region Surf Life Saving saved 967 lives, provided 613 first aids, took part in 93 searches and patrolled for 60,521 person-hours or nearly seven years.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game system which delivers the most powerful game play experience ever. Xbox gives gamers and developers the technology to fulfil their creative visions as never before with games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. The Xbox features the most powerful graphics processor of any game console, a built-in hard disk, built-in broadband capability, real-time Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound support throughout the entire game and DVD capability. For the latest New Zealand news and updates go to www.xbox.co.nz About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. Xbox and Microsoft are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

ends

Issued for Xbox by Pead PR

ENDS


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