CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The glamourous Grand Beach Café in sunny Cape Town was abuzz with media, lifeguards, City officials, industry executives, personalities and swimwear models on Wednesday afternoon for the grand announcement of General Tire as the official sponsor of Lifesaving South Africa.
The event opened with refreshing cocktails at the Grand’s opulent beach bar, before commencing with the business of the day.
Guests were ushered into the cool shade of the restaurant where the press conference began with Kyle Nel, MD of Treble Group, introducing the first speaker of the day, President of Lifesaving South Africa’s (LSA) Dylan Tommy.
Tommy touched on key points on preventative drowning, safe swimming zones and LSA’s commitment to reducing the number of drownings. He also schooled media on the Water Smart programme, whereby LSA had trained up 43 presenters to go into schools conveying their water safety mission statement in the form of an interactive lesson, which was heard by 9000 learners over a period of 6 months.
His speech was a perfect lead in to Dr Colleen Saunders’ talk on drowning statistics and the shocking statistics that there are roughly 1500 fatal drownings in South Africa every year, most drownings occur in children under the age of five years old and that for every female that drowns, there are four males that drown. Dr Saunders also mentioned how much of a positive impact the General Tire sponsorship could mean for research and statistics, which would mean more accurate reporting on annual drownings which in turn would protect the most vulnerable members of the populace.
Jamie Jacobson, lifeguard at Clifton Lifesaving Club, says he became a lifeguard, at first, for sport and because of the fun factor, but as he got older he enjoyed helping people, keeping the beach safe while learning new skills.
Spearheading the General Tire LSA sponsorship is Niel Langner, Marketing Manager of Continental Tyre South Africa (Conti), who also highlighted the importance of having fun on the beach, a dam, a home swimming pool, driving home General Tire’s pay off line ‘Anywhere Is Possible’. Langner expressed GT’s delight in getting involved in an initiative with ‘soul’ – ‘There is a good synergy in what we’re trying to achieve by reducing the amount of road related fatalities. It’s about facilitating the work of the 7000 volunteers of Lifesaving South Africa, multiplying their efficiency by providing funding and providing equipment.’
General Tire has come on board to support LSA across their three main areas of operations:
- Naming Rights Partner to both Senior and Nipper National Championships
- Primary Partner to LSA Duty Squads
- Presenting Partner to LSA Schools Water Safety Programme
The overall Call to Action was for parents, City officials, Lifesaving South Africa, General Tire executives and members of the media, to help reduce the number of drownings around the country.
Members of LSA then went on to simulate a rescue in the crisp waters of Granger Bay, to an astounded crowd, some whom have never seen a rescue take place before. All the action was captured on a Go-Pro which underlined the importance of LSA’ work and punctuated the event with an actuality aspect.
The launch ended with members of the media and invited guests schmoozing, networking and being treated to delicious ‘beach lunch’ and drinks which rounded off an informative launch in a beautiful setting in the Summer sun.