This year has seen the launch of the inaugural UFBA North and South Island Waterway Challenges.
These events complement our traditional competition that takes place every two years and provide brigades with opportunities to train and build on skills in a year where there is no National Waterway Challenge.
Island Challenges funded
With support from the New Zealand Fire Service, the UFBA can now fund one new Challenge in each Island.
Held in the off-year to the National challenge, these events serve to encourage more participation and opportunities to practise skills.
There have always been North and South Island Challenges, but these have been self-funded and organised by a group of committed people that has grown these two prestigious events over the years.
The UFBA does not want to take anything away from these historical events and hopes they will continue to run alongside the two new funded Challenges.
This year, we combined forces with both of the joint provincial committees that have organised these events in the past. This took some of the pressure off our dedicated volunteers.
Events a great success
The North Islands were held on 30 January in Turangi—where it has been hosted for 25 years. It was an outstanding day with some surprising results.
Carterton took first place in the 4-person event and Havelock North B won the 2-person event.
The beautiful town of Methven hosted the South Island event on 13 February—this was equally successful with a tight finish in both the 2-person and 4-person competition.
Greymouth won the 4-person challenge, chased by Rangiora. The 2-person champions were Mossburn.
Our thanks to all of the Host committees that supported these events.
We hope to work with them again soon, however, we do not want to unnecessarily put pressure on the same hosts every year.
he aim is to grow the Challenge, and add events, so we encourage other brigades to come forward to host the North and South Island events in 2018.
Host a challenge
Most townships have the facilities to host a Waterway Challenge.
The UFBA has plenty of advisers that can help with the planning and the technical side of things.
Bringing a Challenge to your neighbourhood can help encourage new teams to participate.
We are also looking for hosts for our 2017 Regional Challenges. These are smaller events so may be a good place to start if you have never hosted before.
Hosting provides a great opportunity to network and fundraise for your brigade.
You will get to know more brigades and firefighters in your Region and have some fun along the way too. And maybe even learn some new skills!
2016 Waterway Challenge results and photos
Click North Island
Click South Island
Thank you to all Host brigades and helpers, all Challenge Officials and all competitors for making this season so successful.
With your ongoing support, challenges like these will continue to grow exponentially.
We look forward to seeing you all in 2017!
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