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Performing on national stage

Posted at 3:50pm Wednesday 18 Nov, 2020

While surf lifesaving is primarily about water safety, the organisation also offers members the opportunity to compete at national and international levels in more of a sport capacity.

Selection in the NZ High Performance Squad is based on performance and performance potential in one or more disciplines – ocean, beach and pool rescue, as well as IRB and surf boats.

New Zealand teams compete in a range of international competitions around the world from the surf boat ‘Oar Blacks' and ‘Junior Black Fins' to the ‘Black Fins' and ‘Black Props'.

Ōrewa currently has three members in the High Performance Squad – Kendra Stinson and Kate Wignell, who joined Ōrewa as nippers, and new addition Raeann Kwan, who has been in the club for four or five seasons.

Surf sports spokesperson Zac Franich says any NZ representation is significant within a club context.
“The aspiration piece for our younger members is massive and these three are blazing a trail for other members to follow,” he says.

“We're hugely proud of the people within our club and the leaders we develop through our programmes.”

As members of the 30-strong youth squad, the girls have access to some of New Zealand top coaches, managers and support services and they will be eligible to join various squad camps over the next 18 months to ensure continuous development.

However, there will be no national team selections this year as all international events are cancelled due to Covid.

Zac says that to gain selection, Raeann, Kendra and Kate had to show continuous improvement over a number of seasons and post results/times that were in the bandwidth of world's best times, “which is no mean feat”.

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