Fairhaven SLSC treasurer and member of more than 20 years Pam Freeman is among those delighted to see the club nominated for Club of the Year once more. Photo: KLAUS NANNESTAD

Fairhaven SLSC named among state’s best lifesaving clubs

July 30, 2020 BY

A SURF Coast club could potentially win Club of the Year for the second time in five years at the upcoming Life Saving Victoria (LSV) Awards of Excellence 2020.

Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) previously won the award in 2016 but club president Darren West said they have continued to develop, particularly in the last 12-months.

“We’ve had ongoing improvement in a number of areas; we’ve completed our strategic plan which covers 2020-25, we’ve made some changes to our patrol roster to ensure we’ve got the highest qualified patrol on every weekend that we possibly can, we’ve pushed hard in terms of female leadership and have many women in leadership positions, and we’ve appointed a sustainability officer and implemented a number of measures in the sustainability space to try and reduce the footprint of the club itself.

“We’re a club of 1,500 members and of those we’ve got about 350 nippers, so we saw our platform in a sustainability and environmental space to be an important one.”

In the Education and Public Training category Point Lonsdale SLS Club’s Nippers in School program, which is run with the Point Lonsdale Primary School, received a nomination for Community Education Award.

This year Point Lonsdale SLSC trained parents from the school, with club president Charlie Pitney commending their eagerness to join in the program.

“It was a really successful program this year, and we managed to train about 10 parents. We had another 10 to 20 lined up to run a program in March or April before COVID hit, so we’re planning on running that again later in the year.

“We also had other parents do online training to help out with water safety and to help assistant with managing the kids.”

Mr Pitney said the program helped bring the community and the club closer together.

“It’s about getting the kids involved and seeing what we’re about, as well as the parents, who have had a really great attitude.

“It was really great to have the local community involved.”

Lorne SLSC also featured in the Education and Public Training category, and are a finalist for the Innovation Award for their Skills Development Program.

In addition to their nomination as Club of the Year, Fairhaven SLSC was also nominated for Outstanding Achievement of the Year for their return to inflatable rescue boat (IRB) racing.

Members of the Surf Coast and Bellarine based clubs were also well-represented in the individual categories.

Point Lonsdale SLSC saw James Coutie nominated for Volunteer of the Year, as well as Tim Harrison for Lifesaver of the Year, and Matilda Francis for Westpac Youth Lifesaver of the Year.

Anglesea SLS Club’s Matthew Taylor is nominated for Volunteer of the Year, as well as Saxon Beale for Athlete of the Year, Naantali Marshall for Masters Athlete of the Year, Jemima Fitzgerald for Champion Junior Lifesaver, and John Fitzgerald for U14 and U15 Athlete of the Year.

Lorne SLSC nominees were Jessica Sincock for Lifesaver of the Year, Lucas Karlson for Youth Lifesaver of the Year, Samuel Ord for Volunteer Assessor of the Year, Nicholas Tsekouras for Volunteer Trainer of the Year, and Heath Armstrong for Membership & Leadership Development Service Awards.

From Ocean Grove SLSC Stephanie Reade was nominated for U14 and U15 Athlete of the Year, Amenah McDonald for Masters Athlete of the Year, Sonia Kinsey for Coach of the Year, Rob O’Brien for Emerging Official of the Year, and both Kirra Solterbeck and Lewis Howell-Pavia for Beach Lifeguard of the Year.

Torquay SLSC saw Archie Vernon nominated for Youth Athlete of the Year, as well as Daphne Henderson and Kate McCardel for Emerging Official of the Year.

Fairhaven SLSC’s Thomas Burt was also nominated for Youth Lifesaver of the Year.

Due to COVID-19 denying the chance for a formal ceremony, LSV will be broadcasting the announcement of the award winners on across Facebook, Youtube and their website at 7pm on Saturday, August 1.

Clubs can create a Facebook watch party so their members can join in the celebration together.

People wishing to view the awards can head to lsv.com.au/2020-awards-of-excellence/.




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