SLSNZ and BP Developing Leaders For Life

The 2020/2021 participants of Surf Life Saving NZ’s prestigious leadership development programme, bp Leaders for Life have been announced. Photos: SLSNZ

Two Bay of Plenty surf life savers have been selected for a distinguished leadership development programme.

Maddie Scown from Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services and Fergus Rieger from Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service will be joining thirteen other Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s up and coming leaders to gear up and embark on a lifelong leadership journey.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand is delighted to announce the nine women and six men, aged 20 to 27, who have been selected for the prestigious leadership development programme bp Leaders for Life.

Surf Life Saving NZ Education Development Lead Belinda Slement says the candidates for this year’s programme “were all outstanding”.

“This year I really struggled selecting the participants – all the applicants could have gone on the programme.”

bp Leaders for Life is designed to up-skill and retain people within the organisation, with the view that they can lead their clubs and the surf lifesaving movement into a sustainable and vibrant future.

Graduates have moved into a number of roles including board and committee members, instructors, examiners and patrol auditors, as well as returning to the programme as bp Leaders for Life facilitators.

Belinda says the 10-month programme is about creating people that can give back to their club and community, and have an impact.

“Seeing the success people achieve post-programme, applying the leadership skills they’ve learnt and seeing how supportive the clubs are is really rewarding.

“They are developing themselves personally and it crosses over to their club and their life. The skills they are going to get are going to be with them for life.

“They are doing it to better themselves, their club and their community.”

The programme includes weekend workshops where the volunteer Surf Lifeguards hear from top leadership speakers. They learn about good communication, leadership skills, their own strengths and weaknesses, the organisation and its strengths and challenges, how things work at different clubs, and how to make positive change.

bp Leaders for Life 2019/20. Photo supplied.

Belinda says a highlight for her is seeing where previous participants are today, what they are doing and what they have achieved.

James Lloyd took part in bp Leaders for Life in 2014. He is now director of Lifeguarding at Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services and became a bp Leaders for Life facilitator in 2020.

“Participating in bp Leaders for Life was an incredible opportunity for me and helped me develop my leadership skills immensely.

“I’ve been able to utilise these skills both within Surf Lifesaving and my professional career.”

Volunteer Surf Lifeguard Emma Sutherland also took part in the 2014 bp Leaders for Life programme. She became a programme facilitator in 2016 and has gone on to become Club Chair at Pacific Surf Life Saving Club.

“Club Chair is a challenging role in itself, and a huge opportunity for learning new skills, and practising some of the skills I learnt on bp Leaders for Life.”

Belinda says it is “incredible” seeing what people go on to achieve.

bp is one of Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s major partners and Belinda says their support is vital – their generous contribution subsidises programme costs for all participants.

“We couldn’t do this without bp. The fact they are willing to invest so much in leadership development is crucial.”

The Leaders for Life programme began in 2012, and bp came on board two years later. Since then 120 people have been through bp Leaders for Life and benefited from the company’s investment in the programme.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Chief Executive Paul Dalton says bp Leaders for Life is vital to developing the organisation’s future leaders.

“We’ve seen people come through the programme and go on to become great leaders within surf lifesaving, and in their own careers.

“The skills they learn will cross over into many aspects of their life,” says Paul.

“Congratulations to the group that has been selected for the 2020/2021 programme. I’m looking forward to seeing what you bring back to your clubs, as well as the wider organisation."

bp Managing Director Debi Boffa says the company is incredibly proud to support bp Leaders for Life.

“It’s awesome to see 15 talented young lifeguards participate in 2020/21 representing 14 clubs across the country," says Debi.

“It’s a fantastic initiative and we know that those participating will develop valuable skills and experience that they, their clubs, and the local communities will all benefit from.”

The 2019/2020 bp Leaders for Life group wraps up, and the 2020/2021 group gets underway, in a combined weekend event at Mount Maunganui from July 24 to 26.

bp Leaders for Life 2018/19. Photo supplied.

The 2020/2021 bp Leaders For Life group are:

Laurice Sciarone - Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service

Jacob Rennie - Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club

Caity Alison - Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club

Maddie Scown - Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services

Adam Glenister - Wainui Surf Life Saving Club

Thomas Brown - Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club

Fergus Rieger - Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service

Brianna Norris - Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards

Hannah Pou -  Riversdale Surf Life Saving Club

Cam Richardson - Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club

Callum McKenzie - Foxton Surf Life Saving Club

Charlotte Becconsall-Ryan - Warrington Surf Life Saving Club

Elsa-Marie Hegarty - South Brighton Surf Life Saving Club

Helena Cook - Waikuku Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Jody Mowat - St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club


About the 52-year bp and Surf Life Saving New Zealand partnership:

The 52-year partnership between bp and Surf Life Saving New Zealand -SLSNZ -  began shortly after the 1968 Wahine disaster with the donation of a surf boat.

Prior to that, bp's predecessor, Europa, sponsored a surf boat at Worser Bay Surf Life Saving Club called 'Miss Europa'. This boat was used by brave clubbies in horrendous conditions to save some of the 683 passengers and crew that were rescued from the Wahine.

The Europa staff were so impressed by the actions of these clubbies that a nationwide sponsorship began evolving into the celebrated partnership it is today. bp purchased Europa and continued the partnership.

The partnership includes an annual donation, a new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) donated to one club each year, and an annual contribution towards fuel costs for every Surf Life Saving club around the country.

bp supports the bp Leaders for Life programme which is designed to provide lifeguards with a variety of important skills including conflict resolution and leadership skills that can be applied to their communities and clubs. bp also recognises the skills of surf lifeguards in the bp Rescue of the Month and bp Rescue of the Year awards.

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