Hi, my name is Declan Dempster, I am 18 years old and I am from Christchurch.
I moved to Mount Maunganui with my family after our home in Christchurch was severely damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes. After discussion with John Bryant the head coach at Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service and 14,000 earthquakes coupled with the opportunity to train all year around, the decision to relocate to Tauranga was made enabling me to pursue my dream in Surf Life Saving. I have lived here for 3 years and have made vast improvements in my chosen sport, last season gaining the highest achievement possible in a national event for my age group.
Some of my achievements:
- 1st place national u19 board race
- 1st place national u19 board relay
- 1st place national u19 Taplin relay*
- The Taplin event enabled the u19 team to achieve “best performance from a team at nationals”
- Plus numerous 1st places in regional and local events
- I am an assistant coach of the MMLS u14 Ocean athletes that placed 1st in the NZ national u14 competition held recently in Orewa, Auckland
Growing up I have always had a passion for water sports, one day my dad took me from the pool to the beach to teach me how to be confident in the ocean and my surf career started from there. Surf Life Saving has taught me self discipline, independence, and given me the ambition to follow my passion. Respect the Ocean.
- ISA World Prone Paddling Champs 2016- 5th place in Open men’s
- Mount Monster 2017 – 1st place u19
- Surf Nationals 2018- 1st u19 board race
Short term goals:
- To become Youth Ironman and Youth Board World Champion at SLS World Championships in November 2018
- To help the NZ Junior Black Fins become the best team it can be any way that I can
- To captain the Junior Black Fins to winning SLS World Championships this year
Long term goals:
- To captain the NZ Black Fins in 2022 at World Championships
- To become the Australian and Open World Ironman & Board champion
- To grow not only as an athlete but as a person that people can respect and trust
The Canterbury earthquakes and subsequent relocation to Mount Maunganui has placed a huge vacuum on my family’s financial resources. The ongoing mitigation with insurance claims and forthcoming educational expenses have motivated this appeal for financial assistance. Presently, I have 2 permanent part time jobs. Coaching daily on the beach during the summer season, pool coaching in the winter season and a cleaning job 3 x week plus callout/stand-in. In between this I must prepare for my final year NCEA exams and fit in 5 morning swim sessions and 6 board/ski afternoon training sessions plus a ton of running.