Oceans 18 to test hundreds of junior surf lifeguards in Orewa
Over 800 junior Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) athletes are set to descend on Orewa Beach from March 1 to 4 to compete for top honours at the Under 14 New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships.
The championships, dubbed Oceans 18, is one of the biggest in the SLSNZ sport calendar and encourages young surf lifeguard trainees to take part and become more skilled as they grow towards becoming qualified lifeguards.
Event manager, Scott Bicknell said it is shaping up to be a fun, exciting event for athletes and their supporters who are travelling from around the country.
“Oceans is again shaping up to be another stellar event this year. We have lots of excited athletes who can’t wait to get going and everyone in Orewa can’t wait either. The local support has been fantastic and the beach will be ideal as we don’t tend to get big surf there and it has a great beachside park for everyone to relax at.”
“Alongside the competition which is always great, we also have a lot of food and activity vendors providing a real carnival atmosphere. Plus there are a lot of giveaways and a Sony photo-booth so there will be plenty to see and do which will be fantastic for everyone.”
With 829 athletes from 45 clubs entered, the event sees the athletes take part in a multitude of events that imitate a real-life rescue including board rescues, beach sprints, and swimming for kids aged 10 and older, who are split into Under-11, Under-12, Under-13 and Under-14 age categories.
Clubs from as far south as St Clair and Brighton in Dunedin are making the trip north to Orewa, with over 60 other athletes from the South Island joining them. Meanwhile, four athletes from Ruakaka Surf Life Saving Club north of Whangarei are making the trip south, meaning the clubs represented almost run the length of the entire country.
Recent housing developments in the area from Orewa to Millwater and across to Whangaparoa, has seen a huge increase in the number of young locals joining surf clubs in and around Orewa, meaning the youth event has a strong local contingent of competitors, and marks a trend that is likely to keep increasing.
Plus, as Mr Bicknell added “it’s great to show all the new local kids moving here how much fun surf lifesaving is and how they can get involved.”
Mr Bicknell said Oceans is a really important event for fostering talent in Kiwi kids around the water which is vital, even if they don’t become a lifeguard.
“Oceans is where our next generation of surf lifeguards get an opportunity to upskill, gain experience and improve their fitness. It doubles as an opportunity to challenge themselves and compete with their friends, plus if they don’t want to be a lifeguard, it gives them a chance to learn water safety and how to stay safe on our beaches.”
The event gets underway at 10.00am on Thursday 1 March at Orewa Beach, in front of the Surf Life Saving Club, before continuing from 8.00am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Spectator entry to the event is free and with plenty of food and activity options available to the public, it could be a great day out for families around Auckland.
Athletes, their supporters and spectators are encouraged to join the conversation online with #Oceans18 and #SLSNZ.
Follow the live results at http://liveresults.co.nz/sls
Oceans 18 – Clubs and number of athletes
Bethells Beach SLSP, 17
Brighton SLSC, 9
East End SLSC, 25
Fitzroy SLSC, 25
Foxton SLSC, 8
Hot Water Beach LS, 4
Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club, 1
Lyall Bay SLSC, 29
Mairangi Bay SLSC, 59
Mangawhai Heads VLS, 8
Maranui SLSC, 22
Midway SLSC, 20
Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service, 44
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service Inc, 21
New Brighton SLSC, 6
New Plymouth Old Boys SLSC, 19
Omaha Beach SLSC, 19
Omanu SLSC, 39
Orewa SLSC, 57
Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards, 20
Palmerston North SLSC, 7
Papamoa SLSC, 23
Pauanui SLSC, 1
Piha SLSC, 24
Pukehina Surf Rescue, 7
Red Beach SLSC, 82
Ruakaka SLSC, 4
South Brighton SLSC, 9
St Clair SLSC, 16
Sumner SLSC, 10
Taylors Mistake SLSC, 7
Titahi Bay SLSC, 30
Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc, 32
Waikanae SLSC, 13
Waikuku Beach SLSC, 3
Waimairi SLSC, 3
Waimarama SLSC, 13
Wainui SLSC, 11
Waipu Cove SLSC, 3
Warrington SLSC, 1
Westshore SLSC, 23
Whakatane SLSC, 21
Whangamata SLSC, 23
Whiritoa Lifeguard Service, 1
Worser Bay LSC, 10