Charlie Matthews competing at the nationals over the weekend. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED



For the first time in 30 years, a surf lifeguard wearing Riversdale colours brought home a gold medal from a national competition.

Fifteen-year-old Charlie Matthews won the Under-16 2k beach run at the national surf life saving championships in Gisborne at the weekend.

Matthews said he was really pleased with his results.

Charlie Matthews came first in the Under 16 men 2k run at nationals at the weekend.

“The experience definitely lived up to expectations.”

He said it was great fun, and good to compete against others from the big surf clubs across the country and to catch up with his friends from the other clubs.

The weather conditions were a bit changeable which resulted in a 7am start for the beach run races on Sunday.

“But that suited me pretty well,” Matthews said.

“I’m glad that I was allowed to participate and fly the flag for the Riversdale Beach Surf Life Saving Club.”

Matthews also placed 10th in the beach flags race and made the semifinals for the beach sprints.

Riversdale Beach Surf Life Saving Club chairman Dave Rose said everyone at the club was very proud of how well Matthews did over the weekend.

He said Matthews was the first person in about 30 years to wear the Riversdale colours and win a gold at nationals.

He said it was a great achievement, especially with still another year to go in the age group.

“It was great news for us at the club.”

Matthews, who started as a volunteer lifeguard at the beach this summer, has been with club since joining the Nippers programme at the age of five.