Gold Coast Surf City Inc (GCSC) lifeguards helped keep competitors safe at the recent Pan American Games in Peru, after TIQ introduced GCSC to the Games organisers.
TIQ Latin America (LatAm) worked with GCSC to help them win the tender to provide lifeguards during the Games’ surfing events.
GCSC is a not-for-profit association set up in 2010 by City of Gold Coast to encourage and liaise with the local surf industry, which injects around $3.3 billion into the Coast economy each year.
GCSC President John Nielsen said Queensland’s excellent surf safety skills meant the GCSC team was perfect for this challenging role at the Games.
‘The key to our success was a safe, incident-free event in very dangerous conditions with waves of 12–15 feet,’ Mr Nielsen said.
‘I believe only our GCSC Water Patrol had the elite ocean skills to deliver such a perfect preventative-action performance.
‘And only a Queenslander, and maybe a handful of Big Wave Hawaiian Lifeguard tow-in pros, could have delivered such an effort.’
Mr Nielsen and his team of 2 professional lifeguards were on standby as the surfers and stand-up paddle (SUP) competitors took to the water.
They were supported by Peru’s National Police Rescue Squad, who received 4 days of intense training from GCSC before the event.
TIQ’s Santiago office has been introducing GCSC to industries and government agencies in Chile and Peru.
In July and August 2018 GCSC lifeguards and trainers travelled to Arica in northern Chile, where they provided training for 28 of the city’s beach lifeguards.
Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Latin America Alex Pessagno said the Gold Coast’s surf culture played a big part in GCSC securing the tender.
‘The Gold Coast surf lifeguards have an incredible reputation, both in Australia and around the world,’ Mr Pessagno said.
‘And with surfing making its debut at the Pan American Games, we knew the organisers would want the event to go as smoothly as possible.
‘So it made sense to back the GCSC bid as much as we could.’
The XVIII Pan American Games ran from 26 July to 11 August, with the surfing events held at Punta Rocas beach in Lima.
Forming international partnerships is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.
Image credit: Latinwave