Northern Lifeguards Thrilled To Celebrate Season Success
Lifeguards from Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) will gather to celebrate the best of the 2019-20 patrol season at the Toyota Financial Services Awards of Excellence on 15 August.
The annual awards night will take place at the Cordis Hotel and is an opportunity for club members to be recognised for their achievements in lifesaving, sports, volunteering and regional awards categories.
Despite previous fears that the awards would be cancelled due to COVID-19, SLSNR CEO Matt Williams says it is great that the organisation can acknowledge the ongoing contribution lifeguards make to the community.
“The Awards of Excellence are a chance to reflect on the season achievements and give thanks to the people at the heart of the lifeguarding movement. Whether patrolling or performing after hours rescues, coaching, competing, managing administration or even event planning, our volunteers are the epitome of ‘in it for life’ and deserve high praise.”
The 2019-20 season saw a new normal for the movement, with lifeguards from the region continuing to be on-call and respond to emergency incidents during the lockdown. Increased health and safety protocols were developed to ensure volunteers could keep the community and themselves safe. Some events were also cancelled due to the pandemic.
Despite changes caused by the virus, Northern region lifeguards still had a successful season, performing 212 rescues and 375 patient assists, allowing numerous kiwis to return home to their families safely. The local Emergency Call Out Squads (ECOS) also experienced a busy season with 119 after hours callouts responded to.
A total of 224 new lifeguards were also added to the Region’s ranks and 9,578 children were educated in beach safety. While numbers of the community educated through SLSNR programmes and new lifeguard numbers were down due to COVID-19 related factors, the movement is working to ensure they are strongly positioned to deliver services in what is expected to be a very busy summer.
Popular television presenter Erin Simpson is the MC for the awards night and will announce the recipients for major regional awards including Lifeguard of the Year, Club of the Year, Rescue of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
Two new awards have also been included this year such as Junior Surf Coach of the Year which recognises the crucial role shown by lifesaving coaches committed to upskilling youth. The second new award is Patrol Support of the Year which recognises an individual who takes pride in patrolling and educating swimmers around key beach safety messages to prevent potential tragedy.
Tribute will also be made to individuals with a long-standing commitment to the movement through Service, Distinguished Service Awards and Life Memberships awards.
Surf Life Saving Northern Region is the largest of the Surf Life Saving region in New Zealand covering Auckland to the Far North, and as far south as Raglan. This season Northern lifeguards covered 22 beach locations at 17 clubs.