Lifesavers Test the Waters at Inaugural Leadership Program

A group of dedicated clubbies from across the state spent the long weekend at the first leadership program for lifesavers aged over 26, held on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

The inaugural 26 years and over development program targeted members who are relatively new to lifesaving, but also are currently in or considering taking up leadership positions within their club. Only participants who have obtained their Bronze Medallion within the last three years were eligible.

It is hoped that the program would create opportunities for new club members to network with other members from across NSW who came to the movement at a later stage, and wish to further their involvement with their club.

Already the group has bonded with a Facebook Page set up for the members to stay in contact and to share ideas about how to overcome the unique challenges facing each club. South Maroubra’s Nixy Krite said that the program has inspired her to continue furthering her involvement within surf life saving.

“It was really great to be able to meet people who all share a passion for surf life saving. Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one but to meet likeminded people and to share ideas that we can all use at our own clubs was a fantastic opportunity.

“We’re all striving for the same thing which is to save people’s lives and the program challenged me to think differently about lifesaving. Sometimes I forget that in my role as a trainer and educator I have 650 potential lifesavers on the beach every Sunday morning in summer participating in Nippers and I think the challenge is to keep them engaged and encourage them to become patrolling members down the track,” she said.

Throughout the program, course participants listened to guest speakers and discussed ideas about how to strengthen their clubs.

For Nixy a highlight was a sudden epiphany she had while on the high ropes course.

“When I was on the high ropes I was fine with the heights until I had to take that first step into the unknown. I think that’s how people feel when going to the beach for the first time as it can be such an intimidating experience if you aren’t familiar with the conditions. That is such an important concept I believe for all lifesavers to understand.”

Surf Life Saving NSW is currently evaluating the program and will continue to explore future development opportunities for all club members.

26+ Development Program Participants:

Carmen Perez (Umina Beach SLSC) Central Coast
Federico Baldissera (Byron Bay SLSC) Far North Coast
Amanda Smith (Broulee Surfers SLSC) Far South Coast
Jared Gilkison (Redhead) Hunter
Konrad Robinson (Fairy Meadow) Illawarra
Brian Kelleher (Taree Old Bar) Lower North Coast
Gayl Ellis (Camden Haven) Mid North Coast
Gavin Winchester (Sawtell) North Coast
Thierry Pelaez (Warilla Barrack Point) South Coast
Nicole Krite (South Maroubra) Sydney
Charles Viney (North Steyne) Sydney Northern Beaches

Program Facilitators

Andy Cross (South Narrabeen)
Adrienne Lowe (Dee Why)

Thu 11 Jun 2015