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AGM kicks off season for MHVLS


Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Lifeguard Service held its Annual AGM on Saturday August 8.

The 2014/2015 season was filled with a number of significant club achievements including Hannah Williams representing NZ on the World SLS stage, and club captain Patria Harris selected as an ambassador for Surf Life Saving Northern Region on the 2015 California Lifeguard Exchange.

The club also farewelled long standing member patron Marie Flavell who passed away recently.

Out-going club chairman Tony Baker acknowledged all of the hard work and commitment that the club and its members had put in over the season, one of the busiest he had experienced on the beaches.

The MHVLS committee for 2015/16 is president Neil McInnes; chairman Gordon Finlayson; executive Alex Tidyman, Tony Baker, Rochelle Flavell; club captain Patria Harris; club instructor Jess Costello; club patron David McNeish; junior surf coordinator Shay Waldron.

Incoming chair Gordon Finlayson said he would like to see the club grow in the coming season.

MHVLS will be running a club forum September 19 to discuss the future needs and aspirations of its membership.

"This year we are hoping to change the way we do things, and we really value the input from our members and the wider community," he said.

Finlayson has been a member of the club for over three decades and is excited about the next few years.

Back in the role of club captain is Patria Harris, who has recently finished up a tour of California as part of the SLSNR Lifeguard Exchange. Harris is recognised as a top lifeguard in the region.

The club would also like to focus on developing new members through its hugely successful Junior Surf Programme and lifeguarding on the beaches. Junior Surf operates for children aged up to 13. A qualified lifeguard needs to be 14.

Long standing member and local identity Jess Costello has stepped into the club instructor role.

"Mangawhai has a strong tradition of nurturing and training top lifeguards in the Northern Region, and we are recognised as a top lifesaving club. I am excited to be back involved in all aspects of Lifeguard training this season," she said.

Costello, who is also a trained paramedic and First Aid Instructor, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role.

Shay Waldron will continue in her role as junior surf coordinator. The past summer saw the most ever number of kids and families participate in the programme with some excellent participation in local carnivals.

Other newcomers to positions on the MHVLS committee include Neil McInnes as club president and Alexis Bedford as junior club captain. This season also sees the return of Alex Tidyman and Rochelle Flavell to the executive along with Tony Baker who is also picking up the public relations portfolio for another season.

Interested in joining the Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Lifeguard Service? Email mangawhaisurfclub@xtra.co.nz for more information.

"This year we are hoping to change the way we do things, and we really value the input from our members and the wider community."

MHVLS chair Gordon Finlayson

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