Otaki Surf Lifesaving Club is celebrating the success of two of its members.

Sophrose London won the top candidate award at the Surf Lifesaving New Zealand Advanced Lifeguard School at Whangamata Beach.

And Justine Fleming has won a Kiwibank Local Hero award in Wellington New Zealander of the Year awards for her volunteer efforts for surf lifesaving.

Just getting to the school was major achievement with London needing to gain high level qualifications in first aid, patrol leadership and rescue boat operation as well as demonstrate swimming and running times to show she was suitably fit.


The school takes only a limited number of lifeguards from around New Zealand and requires lifeguards to prove themselves among their peers and demonstrate skills in incident management, search and rescue, rock rescues and helicopter operations.

She was delighted and surprised to win the award and said it was one of the proudest moments of her life.

Her pre-season training and commitment to the Otaki Surf Lifesaving Club, which began when she was a young child as a nipper, has paid its dividends and she is looking forward to the summer patrolling season at Otaki where she will be a volunteer lifeguard in the weekends.

She is a patrol captain, and is a paid lifeguard over the primary school holidays.

Fleming was the Capital Coast Volunteer Surf Lifeguard of the Year for the 2015-2016 season and the Local Hero Award left her proud of her efforts and involvement with the Otaki Surf Club.

She is a lifeguard instructor at the club, a lifeguard examiner acting regionally, sits on a local lifesaving advisory committee and contributes weekends to voluntary patrols on the beach where she is a vice patrol captain.

Otaki Surf Lifesaving Club chairman Paul Carlyon said the club was delighted.

"Surf Lifesaving is a community activity that requires commitment, skills and attitude that is embodied by Justine and Sophrose.


"We're all so pleased to see them getting recognition for their hard work and willingness to give it their all.

"We're lucky to have them."