One thing Covid hasn’t dampened is the enthusiasm of local children for surf lifesaving.
The Omaha Beach Surf Lifesaving Club has had one of its biggest membership boosts in recent times, with more than 500 members this season.
Junior Surf Sports Manager Rachel Iversen says it is good to see so many families looking to get their children more educated around water.
“It has been a challenge operating under Red, but having a large beach and additional planning has meant that we can make it work,” she says.
“We are always looking for parent volunteers, whether it’s to help on the committee, volunteer on the day or become a lifeguard to assist with water safety at junior surf.”
Rachel says the club has been fortunate to have had so many young senior lifeguards.
“Many are still at Mahurangi College or travel up from Auckland to patrol on the weekends. Many of these lifeguards train competitively in the mornings, then coach the junior surf kids, then go on to patrol the beach in the afternoon. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the club is second to none!”
Junior surf sports
The increase in members has led to an increase on the sports side of surf lifesaving.
Last month, Omaha took its largest team of 32 athletes to Orewa to compete in the Auckland All In Carnival.
The under 13 and 14 athletes trained hard off season with club coach Daniel Grant, which has led to a marked improvement in skill level.
“We are also grateful to our parent and high school coaches who train our under 12 athletes as well,” Iversen says.
“Unfortunately, Oceans 22 the national junior surf lifesaving carnival which is held at Mount Maunganui annually, and is ‘the event’ on the calendar, was cancelled due to Covid.
“The northern regional competition was held over Waitangi weekend, but under the Red settings, it was restricted to the U14 and U13 age categories.
“Omaha came away with some great results with its small team of six boys and two girls. We were very proud of the performance of all the athletes under very tough conditions.”
Results: Northern Regions Junior Surf Lifesaving Comp
Individual: Maia Iversen – U13 girls board race, 1; Fraser Walker – U14 boys surf race, 1, and boys diamond, 3; Alex Worth – U13 boys board race, 2. Teams: U14 boys board relay, 3; U14 boys board rescue, 3; U14 boys cameron, 2.