- Gabriella Hughes
- Tairua Surf Lifesaving Club
The development of our youth education programme has occurred over time, but over the last 12 months this has been refined with commitment and dedication from the Junior Club Captain, Gabby.
Gabby has developed this programme, and delivered training for youth to progress them from Junior Surf Programme (JSP), to Rookie Guard, volunteering time on the beach and undertaking further study to progress to a qualified lifeguard position. Gabby has also launched Adult Life guard training, and delivers this programme seeing parents becoming qualified guards as well.
This programme is supported by the Tairua Surf LIfesaving Committee and driven by Gabby, a volunteer youth committee member at the Club.
Gabby plans, manages and nurtures the guards through their training. This involves camps and training weekends, identifying courses being held outside of Tairua and actively attending these with the participants so they feel supported. Gabby arranges these and facilitates the training sessions.
Gabby leads by example. As Patrol Captain last season, Gabby often arrived early to patrol. She was rostered on to complete 48 hours of volunteer patrolling last season and went above and beyond to complete 57.25 hours in Tairua. She completed a further 28 hours of volunteering in Whangamata.
With our Junior Surf Programme (JSP) reaching record levels, it is crucial that the club continues to nurture the next generation of guards. Given the relatively short time frame that youth can commit to the club there is a fresh intake required every year. Youth can give their time, which includes a large element of volunteer, more so through high school and this then becomes more difficult if they begin tertiary study or enter the workforce. For those who live outside of Tairua, which is the majority of our guards, it also involves transport, accommodation and other costs (especially if their families are not holidaying in Tairua).
These are all barriers that the club has to work with. They are addressed by providing training courses in Auckland (where a large number of out-of-town guards live) and by utilising long weekends and school holiday periods for training camps.
To address the need of bringing through a pipeline of guards for the club, Gabby has created a training programme that engages the youth. She understands the comradery that this cohort seek and has provided camps and time for them to strengthen as a unit while completing their training.
Last week was a perfect example of how she does this. Gabby was in Tairua during the school week. Demonstrating her commitment to the local youth involved in this cohort, she booked a time slot at Whangamata Swimming Pool for these teenagers to attend straight from school (Whangamata Area School) and met them there to swim with them. Helping them practice their tube rescues and ensure their swim fitness was acceptable for their upcoming exam.
The youth in the current cohort are excited and ready for their upcoming guard exam. They are ready for a summer of beach patrol and Junior Surf Programme. They are super fortunate to have been trained by a fellow youth, Gabby, who leads by example and has committed her time to the club and to Surf NZ.
Throughout this entire process, they have been active, working on their fitness and becoming the future role models for the younger tamariki in our club.
This is our largest cohort of guards going for their exam (Labour Weekend) and is also coupled with parents/guardians completing their adult lifeguard award too (also trained and run by Gabby).
The feedback from the participants and their parents is great.
Gina Easton, parent to Lincoln and Archer, "Gabby goes above and beyond with these guys. Look at her, out here in the water with them, showing them how it's done!"
Post exam survey has not yet been completed for this group.
Photos and evidence of this youth expereince can be seen here: https://www.instagram.com/tairuaslsc/?hl=en
- Outstanding By Youth For Youth Initiative