New courses for IRB instructors and drivers

Supplied photos.

As the days get shorter and colder, 16 IRB instructors have kick started their winter training season with the first of three Surf Life Saving Eastern Region Instructor Development Camps.

The instructors, from Tairua, Pauanui, Onemana, Whangamata, Whiritoa, Waihi and Whakatane, took part in the two-day course while 18 would-be drivers tackled the one-day driver development day held at Whangamata Surf Lifesaving Club.

The weekend was the first in a new series of training events for the Coromandel/Bay of Plenty region’s lifeguards with an updated programme that has been custom designed after Surf Life Saving Eastern Region undertook a review of their traditional IRB training programmes at the end of last season.

There is now a greater emphasis on developing the instructors as this should in turn automatically improve the drivers that are training and gaining their IRB Drivers award in the region .

Club Development Officer Poppy Crouch is thrilled with how the weekend went.

“We delivered high quality training and skill development to both our Instructor and Driver candidates. It was awesome to see the progress in all the candidates and to see the success of the new training format.”

The course was well received by both the instructor and driver candidates.

“I have been a guard for five years and that was by far the best and most well organised training I’ve ever been too,” says Ella Toumadj, who is training to be an IRB driver.

“The vast knowledge and attitude of the instructors was epic! By breaking down the technical skills I’ve learnt more than I ever could have since I have started training in boats.”

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, Eastern Region will roll these courses out across the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne areas over the next few months, Lifesaving Manager for the Eastern Region Chaz Gibbons-Campbell says.

“Our instructors play a really important role in upskilling our lifeguards to operate these rescue vessels safety, we need to be able to provide them with the tools and knowledge to fulfil their roles and these courses are a great addition to our member development programme”

To help clubs with the cost of these workshops, Zespri are continuing their support for the Eastern Region. Regional Manager for the Eastern Region, Chase Cahalane says Zespri’s support directly helps develop the life saving skills of the life guards in the region.

“Without this valuable support we would not have such a skilled and talented pool of lifeguards available to service our local beaches.”

For further information about the upcoming courses in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne areas, check out the Surf Lifesaving New Zealand website or contact the local Club Development Officer.

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