It was a busy month for the Treble Group as the annual General Tire Lifesaving South Africa National Club Championships took place at Kings Beach for the second year running in Port Elizabeth during late-March.
The event, which has seen some encouraging changes over the past few years, brings together 1 700 athletes from more than 40 clubs and saw them compete in 528 events over seven days to make it the biggest competitive carnival of its kind in the history of South African lifesaving.
As the exclusive commercial and marketing agency to Lifesaving South Africa, while also being the brand activation agency for title sponsors, General Tire SA, Treble worked tirelessly to deliver a world-class event that has a strong family-orientated element. And with Wimpy South Africa joining this year’s event as associate sponsor, Lifesaving South Africa has added even more value to the competitors and fans.
With increased media exposure through Independent Media and Sport24’s online platform, the flagship event has become a major fixture on the South African sporting calendar. Treble’s senior account manager for Lifesaving South Africa, Carmen Taylor, has the seen the annual event go from strength to strength in just a couple of years and is encouraged by its growth.
“Watching the growth of this prestigious event has been a pleasure to witness. Lifesaving South Africa is a voluntary institution built on community and family sharing in a healthy and outdoor lifestyle. The competitive spirit matches the goodwill and sportsmanship that resonates during the championships. Having Wimpy SA on board, has enhanced these values going forward.
“What’s also been encouraging to see is how successful the centralisation of the entire event has been. Last year saw Lifesaving South Africa and General Tire South Africa initiate the very first consolidation of the full spectrum of its national championship events into one extended platform in Port Elizabeth, with the Pool events held at Newton Park and the Surf events at King’s Beach.
“This has been a masterstroke in ensuring competitors [and families] all participate under one event. Nippers, Juniors and Seniors, plus the Pool event, compete in a single competition structure, making the organisation and logistics behind the scenes a streamlined exercise that fulfills every aspect of Lifesaving South Africa’s vision.”
The second year since the reintroduction of surf boat racing, known as the Surf Boat Shootout, has become one of the more popular and spectacular events at the General Tire Lifesaving South Africa National Club Championships. It’s one of the iconic lifesaving events with a rich heritage that has been in the wilderness for many decades.
The surf boat race involves a five-person team and an eight-metre fibreglass oar-driven surf boat. Four members of the team (rowers or crew) row and one member steers the boat (sweep). The crew rows out through the break and around a buoy approximately 500-metres out to sea and returns to the beach.
Surf boat veteran of over 30 years and the 2019 Shootout winning captain, Dave Clements, has been overawed by the interest in the event and is happy to see its regeneration.
“Last Champs was a new era in surf-boating. Thanks to Treble, it was the first time in many decades that we had any form of TV and media coverage, and prize money. Besides that, the coverage on SuperSport was priceless for the sport. The whole lead-up and execution of the event sparked new interest among all the top clubs across SA and we look forward to the coming years.”