Lifeguard wins a top accolade
Hamish Clayton from Waihi Beach has been named the top volunteer lifeguard in New Zealand.
He one of 20 of New Zealand’s best volunteer surf lifeguards who attended Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s National Lifeguard School to gain their Advanced Lifeguard Award.
The event was held in New Plymouth at the Fitzroy Surf Life Saving Club.
The three-day National Lifeguard School takes the top volunteer surf lifeguards in New Zealand and teaches them more advanced skills including rock rescues, rescue helicopter operations, advanced first aid and rigorous fitness challenges.
All the participants take these specialised skills back to their local beaches around the country to help save lives.
Hamish took home the top candidate honours after being a standout candidate all weekend, National Education manager, Belinda Slement says.
“Hamish showed exceptional leadership, great team work, and sound IRB and decisionmaking skills. He showed clear development over the weekend, had a brilliant attitude and really stepped up during the school.”
The school had some of its highest quality candidates, she said.
“Everyone at Surf Life Saving New Zealand passes on our congratulations to Hamish for being this year’s top lifeguard. It was no easy feat so he can be incredibly proud of it” she said.
Currently in his fifth season patrolling beaches, Hamish said it’s an “awesome feeling” to get the top award and be recognised for his contribution to the local community.
“I was not expecting it at all. The whole experience throughout the weekend was great, and I learnt a lot from the instructors and the other lifeguards which I’ll take back to Waihi Beach,” Hamish says.
He’s also proud that his hard work has paid off, after spending the past few years constantly developing his lifeguarding skills, and keeping his fitness up over winter so he could still be at the top level of swimming and running.
Hamish Clayton is Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s top volunteer lifeguard, pictured with Surf Lifesaving New Zealand president Brian Velvin.