Sponsorship recognises contribution of surf clubs

VANITA PRASAD
Last updated 08:15 13/11/2012
Surf Life saving
SAVING LIVES: Beachgoers can take comfort knowing West Auckland’s beaches will continue to be looked after.

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It's hot work protecting Auckland's beach-goers under the intense summer sun.

But five of the west's surf lifesaving clubs will be better protected now thanks to a $20,000 sponsorship from Auckland Council and the Waitakere Ranges Local Board. The clubs were presented with the donations at an event at Henderson Valley School on Wednesday.

More than 400 children enjoyed the event with police cars and a fire truck on hand for them to explore.

The sponsorships saw the Piha Surf Life Saving Club, United North Piha, Karekare, Bethells and Muriwai clubs receive two large yellow marquees.

The tents are covered with safety messages and Karekare surf lifesaver Chris Carding says they are a welcome donation.

"We are so exposed at Karekare and when it's not a windy day these will be really good to put up for sun protection and for treating minor injuries," he says.

"The club's a long way out from where we patrol and we have to make three creek crossings to get to the beach so these lightweight tents will be great."

Mr Carding says the club also plans to use the shades at fundraising events like the upcoming Karekare Horse Races.

"These have been on the list for years and years but canopies never really find their way to the top of the priority list. We're really thankful to have them."

The sponsorship was arranged in partnership with the Waitakere Police, Waitakere rural fire services, Rural NZ Post, ICON Security, Arrow Security, Waitakere Pacific Wardens and Neighbourhood Support Waitakere.

Auckland Council crime prevention project leader Michael Alofa says the donations were a way of recognising the contributions the five clubs make to the community.

"They are an important part of Operation Speedo, now in its sixth year."

Operation Speedo is a multi-agency operation to increase police and Auckland Council presence at west coast beaches.

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