Raglan surf club duo win Northern Region awards

Jessica Reilly and Maia Barbuzza of the Raglan Surf Life Saving Club have won awards at the annual Toyota Financial Services Surf Life Saving Northern Region Awards of Excellence held on Saturday, July 14.

A medical student, Jessica won the Lifeguard of the Year award. She spent nearly 140 hours on the beach as a volunteer lifeguard, most of them as a Patrol Captain. Jessica also supported other patrols with her experience. She was the club’s Lifesaving Convenor, spent seven weeks as a paid Patrol Captain at the height of the season and helped instruct and train intermediate lifeguards.

As the club’s Lifeguard Development Manager, Jessica helped a total of 60 candidates successfully through different courses. Her leadership has been crucial to the development and management of saving lives at the club.

Maia took out the Under 19 Lifeguard of the Year award with 107 volunteer hours. She managed patrol operations and logistics and showed her maturity in co-ordinating a large-scale search and rescue incident while more senior members were on the scene.

As part of the paid lifeguard service Maia worked at Raglan and some of the North Shore beaches and returned home with new ideas. She became involved with all activities on exchanges to other beaches including Papamoa and Wellington.

Maia completed six courses to improve her skills and was also involved in training other lifeguards who successfully qualified.

A total of 36 different awards were presented to 11 different clubs and their members from the Northern Region at an event held at the Cordis Hotel in central Auckland. The region serves beaches from Raglan to North Cape on the west coast and down the east coast as far as the Auckland City beaches.