With your support, Otaki Surf Club can win a new inflatable

By MARGARET ANDREWS

The Otaki Surf Life Saving Club is out to win a new $3000 inflatable rescue boats (IRB) and will need support from everyone between Hawkes Bay and Cook Strait to achieve this!

The Otaki club has won its way into the finals for one of the two IRBs. Surf Life Saving NZ’s chief sponsor BP is giving them away – one to a North Island club and one to the South Island. The other northern clubs are from Gisborne and Coromandel, so it’ll be a battle. The competition will be by online vote between Monday October 20 and Sunday October 26 only. Supporters can vote daily and the club with the most votes wins the IRB.

To promote the competition, a specialist film crew have been visiting the six clubs, recording people and activities for the television documentary.

Last week the crew spent a day with Otaki clubbies, as part of the documentary being filmed as the centre point of the competition. During the midday lunch period, they were at Waitohu School, working with the children on some of the beach safety programmes. The life guards, club captain Abraham Growcott, Nikki Lundie, Rob Bigwood and Paul Carlyon, organised some rescue races, with the children “carrying” the IRB’s across the school field to “rescue” their drowning schoolmates. The club’s work with the local schools is one of their main community activities away from the beach.

Down to the beach and an interview was recorded with long time life member, club president Neale Ames. He gave an outline of the club’s history and its place in the Otaki community, especially after the original clubrooms burned down in 1987, with the loss of all their equipment. The town raised $53,000 for the new clubrooms and the life guard’s tower, which were re-opened a year later; it was built by volunteer labour, including having11 master builders on site! This recognised the important place the Otaki Surf Life Saving Club has in this community.

The Otaki Surf Life Saving Club provides a wonderful service along Otaki Beach during the summer, with volunteer life guards at weekends and professional, ie paid, guards on week days during the summer holidays. They train children in beach and sea skills, from as young as seven years in the Nipper programme, the 12-13 years in the Rookie programme and from 14 years to adults as the surf life guards.

Their plea is for you to get all your family and friends – living anywhere between Hawkes Bay and Cook Strait or any other place in New Zealand – ready to vote for Otaki to win the IRB for the North Island. Voting opens online on October 20 on www.bpclickforyourclub. Remember the club with the most votes wins.F_Se14_Surf-CLub