Funding boost for major surf champs

Event helps put Tairawhiti on the map.

Event helps put Tairawhiti on the map.

File picture

Eastland Community Trust (ECT) is providing a grant of $20,000 and additional sponsorship for the major surf lifesaving championships to be staged in Gisborne over Auckland Anniversary weekend.

The Eastern Regional Championships will attract more than 500 surf athletes, and a similar number of supporters, from across the country to the city.

Traditionally, the regional event has been second in size only to the New Zealand championships.

The event starts on Friday, January 25, at Midway Beach and continues through to Sunday, January 27.

The regional championships will be followed by a separate New Zealand Representative Team Challenge at Midway on Auckland Anniversary Day.

“From an economic standpoint, large events like this are a definite positive for our region,” said ECT communications and marketing manager Matt Cairns.

“The New Zealand championships held here in March last year brought an estimated $1.6 million spend to Tairawhiti.

“The success of the event provided a starting point of the benefits of major events coming to Tairawhiti and ECT working with keen partners like Surf Life Saving New Zealand, who love holding events here.”

The Eastern Regional Championships have traditionally been held at Mount Maunganui, but the decision was made to switch to Gisborne this year.

“After hosting the national championships in March last year, SLSNZ are keen to host one of their major events here every year,” Mr Cairns said.

ECT has naming rights for the championships.

“We decided to put the regional brand –– Tairawhiti/Gisborne The First Light –– on it, rather than the ECT name, because the majority of people taking part in it will be from out of the district,” Mr Cairns said. “We feel it is a very good opportunity to promote the Tairawhiti/Gisborne region.”

Pre-event information has gone out to participating clubs and competitors.

“We have pointed to the region’s tourism activities to be enjoyed during their stay in the pre-information, and we will follow up with opportunities to live and work here in communications that will follow the event.”

Steps have also been taken to improve the layout of the beach at Midway for the event, with a finishing archway in the main arena in front of the Midway clubhouse, along with spectator stands there and at the sand track across the road.

“There will be a few other bells and whistles as well, and we will be working with SLSNZ to promote the event to attract more members of the public down to the beach to watch the racing and enjoy the event.”

A full page in Thursday’s Gisborne Herald will outline the event programme so “locals can come down to watch elite lifeguards in action-packed finals”.

“We feel it will also be a great advertisement of lifesaving and opportunity for local clubs –– Midway, Waikanae, Wainui, Tolaga Bay and Ngati Porou –– to attract new members,” Mr Cairns said.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region sport manager Mark Inglis said the regional championships had a proud history of being not only one of the biggest surf lifesaving events held in New Zealand but also one of the most competitive.

“The Eastern region spans the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, but the event attracts competitors from throughout the country.

“The carnival offers almost all of the events available at the New Zealand championships and draws upon the best of the best.”

Mr Inglis said Midway Beach was one of the prestigious anchor venues of the national championships.

“Surf Life Saving New Zealand is excited to be partnering with Tairawhiti/Gisborne to showcase everything that the region has to offer . . . and why Gisborne remains one of the premier national surf lifesaving event venues.”

Eastland Community Trust (ECT) is providing a grant of $20,000 and additional sponsorship for the major surf lifesaving championships to be staged in Gisborne over Auckland Anniversary weekend.

The Eastern Regional Championships will attract more than 500 surf athletes, and a similar number of supporters, from across the country to the city.

Traditionally, the regional event has been second in size only to the New Zealand championships.

The event starts on Friday, January 25, at Midway Beach and continues through to Sunday, January 27.

The regional championships will be followed by a separate New Zealand Representative Team Challenge at Midway on Auckland Anniversary Day.

“From an economic standpoint, large events like this are a definite positive for our region,” said ECT communications and marketing manager Matt Cairns.

“The New Zealand championships held here in March last year brought an estimated $1.6 million spend to Tairawhiti.

“The success of the event provided a starting point of the benefits of major events coming to Tairawhiti and ECT working with keen partners like Surf Life Saving New Zealand, who love holding events here.”

The Eastern Regional Championships have traditionally been held at Mount Maunganui, but the decision was made to switch to Gisborne this year.

“After hosting the national championships in March last year, SLSNZ are keen to host one of their major events here every year,” Mr Cairns said.

ECT has naming rights for the championships.

“We decided to put the regional brand –– Tairawhiti/Gisborne The First Light –– on it, rather than the ECT name, because the majority of people taking part in it will be from out of the district,” Mr Cairns said. “We feel it is a very good opportunity to promote the Tairawhiti/Gisborne region.”

Pre-event information has gone out to participating clubs and competitors.

“We have pointed to the region’s tourism activities to be enjoyed during their stay in the pre-information, and we will follow up with opportunities to live and work here in communications that will follow the event.”

Steps have also been taken to improve the layout of the beach at Midway for the event, with a finishing archway in the main arena in front of the Midway clubhouse, along with spectator stands there and at the sand track across the road.

“There will be a few other bells and whistles as well, and we will be working with SLSNZ to promote the event to attract more members of the public down to the beach to watch the racing and enjoy the event.”

A full page in Thursday’s Gisborne Herald will outline the event programme so “locals can come down to watch elite lifeguards in action-packed finals”.

“We feel it will also be a great advertisement of lifesaving and opportunity for local clubs –– Midway, Waikanae, Wainui, Tolaga Bay and Ngati Porou –– to attract new members,” Mr Cairns said.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region sport manager Mark Inglis said the regional championships had a proud history of being not only one of the biggest surf lifesaving events held in New Zealand but also one of the most competitive.

“The Eastern region spans the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, but the event attracts competitors from throughout the country.

“The carnival offers almost all of the events available at the New Zealand championships and draws upon the best of the best.”

Mr Inglis said Midway Beach was one of the prestigious anchor venues of the national championships.

“Surf Life Saving New Zealand is excited to be partnering with Tairawhiti/Gisborne to showcase everything that the region has to offer . . . and why Gisborne remains one of the premier national surf lifesaving event venues.”

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