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They might be small in numbers and have endured a tough few seasons but all that was forgotten as Bermagui SLSC was crowned the Stramit Club of the Year at the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence in Sydney last Saturday.

The Far South Coast club was a popular winner after beating other strong contenders including Cudgen Headland, Coogee, and Bulli.

“It’s just so exciting to watch this whole thing blossom. We’re one of the smallest clubs in the whole state but what we have really concentrated on is getting to the heart of what surf rescue is all about,” said clearly delighted Club President Bruce McAslan.

“We have a can-do attitude and we want to get people involved so if people do want to get involved we can find a role for you and get you the right training so you can be successful,” he said.

Crucial to the turnaround in 2017 has been a re-focus on the basics and an effort to reengage both with existing members and the wider community.

Recruitment has been strong with actively engaged patrollers going from just 22 at the start of the sea son to 34 by Christmas, and a focus on up-skilling saw over 60% of active patrollers attained at least one additional award during the season.

Other key achievements during 2016-17 included starting a Same Wave Disability program, launching “Patrol Buddies” a program to bridge the gap between older Nippers and patrollers and strengthening key relationships with a number of community groups.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Bermagui has a number of additional key initiatives in the works for the future with the President having a special message for his club’s members.

“For anyone in our local area thinking about joining in I would say come down and have fun; the whole thing is that the beach is fun and we want the community to understand that we’re open and big on family.

To all our current members thank you for all your hard work keep on doing what you’re doing and we will continue to grow,” Mr McAslan said.

The 2017 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly presented by Stramit Building Products. Over 300 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathered at Sydney’s iconic The Hilton Hotel to celebrate the season that was.


Wednesday 9 August 2017