Tides of success for livesavers

SAM DUFF
Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
surf
TOM HUNT/Fairfax NZ

JUNIOR HIGH: Maranui Surf Life Saving Club captain Marc Pulepule with, from left, , 12. Then left to right: daughter Asha, 9, son Che, 12, on his shoulders, , 9, Marc Pulepule, Sophie Irving, 11, and Lukas Kelly-Heald, 8.

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With the beaches deserted for winter and the yellow and red flags put away, patrons of the Maranui cafe may wonder why they heard a deafening scream.

For the second season in a row, the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club has won the Capital Coast Junior Surf Cup, making it the top junior club in the region.

Club captain Marc Pulepule says the juniors, aged between 7 and 14, let out an almighty roar when they were told they held the honour for a second year.

"The big question was 'are we going to do it again next year?', and there was another big cheer," he says.

"I must admit that we didn't foresee this. It was another very successful season."

Five carnivals were held throughout the season. The final was at Paekakariki in February.

Pulepule says conditions were flat, but it was a beautiful day and waves were about half a metre. "The kids performed exceptionally well. They were determined to do better than last year. Some of it is driven by the parents, but most by the kids themselves."

Of the 28 medals awarded to the region's juniors, 19 were won by Maranui.

"The club did really well because the next best club behind us was about 600 points off."

Pulepule says head coach Chris Mark deserves much of the credit for Maranui's successful year. "He deserves a medal really. The sporting side of surf lifesaving is his passion."

Pulepule, who first got involved in surf lifesaving in 2007, says that at the time Maranui had only 20 junior members. It now has 230.

"My young boy was five at the time and we were looking for something for him to do.

"As a family we thought it would be something really enjoyable. We found something that actually brought us together.

"Lots more families are getting involved."

This season was the first in which Maranui had entered competitors into the under-16s competition. "They have done really well at the national level by making a few finals."

The regional surf lifesaving awards will be held on May 31.

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- The Dominion Post

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