Clubbie Profile July: Andy Cross

Our Clubbie Profile for July 2014 is Andy Cross from South Narrabeen SLSC, who has embarked on a journey to surf all of our 129 patrolled beaches.

Name: Andy Cross

Age: 53 - Wow I sure don’t feel 53!

Club: South Narrabeen SLSC

Occupation: Plumber

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?

I joined in 1992 at North Narrabeen. I wanted to do my Bronze Medallion and share my knowledge of the surf and the ocean to help keep the beach safe.

What is your best clubbie memory?

Everybody and every season at South Narrabeen SLSC. Sharing the beach, the surf and the sand with my kids Alana, Nate and Brad, my brother Mick and his kids Simmone, Oliver, Scarlett, Leo, Mali and Gabs, my brother Dean and his kids Ruby, Levi, Koko and Ringo.

Also attaining my Gold Medallion my first season back at South Narrabeen SLSC in 2008.

Why do you volunteer as a lifesaver?

Because it is a wonderful way to give back to our community. To use what you have learnt and my experience to keep people safe on the beach. The ocean has been a part of my life since I was a little grommet. I love to give share my knowledge about the surf, the beach and the ocean to everyone.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why?

I have to say two people who are born leaders. I have a great admiration for Graham Ford President of SLSA and Tony Haven President of SLSNSW.

Both men lead from the front, patrolling and beach safety are their first priority. They are men who are easy to listen to, because they listen to you. They are very approachable, interested and attentive to what you say. Of course they are up front, honest and not afraid to think outside the square to get the job done. Probably their biggest quality which I have found most inspirational is they both still patrol, swim, paddle and are in touch with the ground roots of the Surf Life Saving Organisation and everybody on the beach. They are one of us and certainly have my respect and admiration.

What are your goals within Surf Life Saving?

I certainly have several goals within Surf Life Saving.

My real passion is in Search and Rescue so my goal would be to offer anything I could do to help out in this area across the Branch, State and Nationally. I have been lucky enough to visit Surf Life Saving Clubs down in Tasmania with Chris Jacobson, also Surf Life Saving Clubs in lower Queensland and Northern Queensland such as Port Douglas, which was a great experience and learning curve.

I plan to develop an education program in the form of a video conference to schools all over Australia - ’Meet a Surf LifeSaver’. I want to talk to schools everywhere and anywhere all via live video screens, then possibly get exchange programs between these schools and the Surf Life Saving Clubs. You can speak to over 35,000 kids across Australia.

I would love to see the people who win National awards such as Surf Lifesaver of the Year and similar awards exposed more around the country to help promote Surf Life Saving.

I also want to write a book of all the adventures and people I have met along the way in my ‘129 Beaches’ challenge. This would raise funds for Surf Life Saving.

Anything else you’d like to add?

My younger brother suddenly passed away so I would like to dedicate this challenge ‘129 Beaches’ to my brother Peter. RIP my brother.

I am currently on a challenge to visit and surf at each of the ‘129 beaches’ in NSW that have Surf Life Saving Clubs this year. I am promoting an Easy Pathway to the Gold Medallion program that I developed as well as the Surfing NSW Rescue 24/7 program.

The Easy Pathway will hopefully make it easier for all the Chief Training Officers and members to get to their goal of doing their Advanced Surf Life Saving Gold Medallion. Hopefully this will make us all better Surf Life Savers. Currently I have visited 82 Surf Life Saving Clubs in NSW and I can honestly say that the Surf Life Saving Organisation is a sensational thing to be a part of as everybody has been so friendly, interested and supportive. Everyone I meet is like a long lost brother or sister, I am so very lucky to meet so many amazing people and I am SO SO proud to be a Surf Lifesaver.

Check it out and like my Facebook ‘129 Beaches’ - everyone welcome. Thanks heaps for your support.

I recently found my Grandfather's Bronze Medallion which he got at Coogee SLSC on 4 March 1925, it was such an awesome find. It now sits proudly with my medallions and I know now our service to Surf Life Saving is four generations strong - epic.

Thu 31 Jul 2014