One’s an All Black legend, whose rugby travels have taken him all over the globe, while the other is a Kiwi adventurer who once rowed solo across the Tasman.
Now Sir Colin Meads and Shaun Quincey are joining forces to send an 11-strong team of Mount Maunganui surf lifeguards on their own journey halfway around the world.
The pair are guest speakers at a glittering fundraising dinner at the Mount Maunganui Surf Club this Saturday, helping a Mount team attend the Rescue 2014 world championships in France in September.
Organiser Kendall Elliott said it was a massive coup to get two such well-known New Zealanders and her fellow squad members were keen to share the experience with as many locals as possible.
“Even 43 years after retiring, Sir Colin has an amazing following in New Zealand rugby and Shaun has an incredible story to tell, of which rowing across the Tasman is only a small part,” Elliott said. “It’s going to be an inspirational evening and it will be pretty cool motivation for our squad with less than two months to go until we leave.”
The Mount squad includes Elliott, New Zealand team member Andrew Newton, former world beach sprint champion Holly Moczydlowski, teenage sprint star Olivia Eaton, Arna Wright, Hamish Treanor, Sam and Brooke Shergold and Adam Simpson.
Masters athletes Dani Shepherd and Garry King, fresh from their success at the Eastern Region Awards evening last weekend, will also compete in the over-30 division in France.
The fundraising evening will also feature an auction, with all money raised helping to send the team to France.
This year’s world championships will be help at Montpellier on France’s Mediterranean coast, which presents its own challenges to the big Mount contingent.
“Training over winter in the Bay of Plenty certainly presents its own challenges – last week’s weather was a prime example,” Elliott said. “But while it won’t give us much of a climate advantage once we get to France, at least it will make us one of the more resilient squads competing at worlds!”
Tickets for Saturday’s gala dinner are $100 each or $850 for a table of 10. Dress is formal, while tickets can be purchased by contacting Kendall Elliott on firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the event website at http://bit.ly/1wjbFam.