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A group of highly dedicated young surf lifesavers will trade school books for surf caps when they make their way to an exciting leadership network opportunity on Sydney’s Northern Beaches from next week.

The annual Junior Lifesaver of the Year program (JLOTY) and Youth Opportunity Makers Workshop (YOM) will again run concurrently in 2018 with over  50 teenagers aged 13-17 from the 11 branches preparing to make their way to the 4-day program.

The opportunity to be crowned Junior Lifesaver of the Year is a cherished honour and is only open to those in their final year of Nippers (U14 Age Group).

Many past winners have gone on to contribute to the movement in leadership positions at their clubs rising through the ranks to become valued members of the lifesaving community.

All 22 finalists have impressed their respective branches with their contributions to lifesaving throughout their junior careers and have demonstrated leadership potential.

Throughout the week they will have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge and will also have the opportunity to see firsthand the diverse paths that lifesaving can take you.

The emphasis of both the JLOTY and YOM programs is very much on developing leaders of the future with many of the tasks designed to help unlock this latent potential.

The JLOTY finalists come to Sydney to vie for the title of NSW Junior Life Saver of the Year with interviews being held on the first day of the program. A panel of judges then select one male and one female to be awarded their Junior Life Saver of the Year title.

Program co-ordinator Naomi Stevenson believes it’s a wonderful opportunity for the program participants to take their love of surf lifesaving to the next level.

“Like other organisations we have experienced our challenges retaining our teenaged members, and this is why we consider it so important to invest in development program for young lifesavers.

“They are the future of the movement and every single person here at this program has consistently showed the skills, knowledge, and application required to be outstanding lifesavers,” Ms Stevenson said.

The YOM program is the premiere development and networking program of its type for young lifesavers aged 15-17.

During the week these program participants will have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge about lifesaving while working closely with facilitators themselves experienced lifesavers who will play a mentoring role.

For many of these lifesavers it’s the first real chance they have had to network with other club members of a similar age from all around the state, and these friendships formed could prove very useful for all involved in the future.

The 2018 Junior Lifesaver of the Year and YOM Programs will run from Monday 16 – Thursday 19 April

2018 Junior Lifesaver of the Year Finalists

  • Jack Breen (Lennox Head-Alstonville SLSC)

  • Paris Brailsford (Yamba SLSC)

  • Tobias  Fluechter (Woolgoolga SLS)

  • Grace McCormack (Coffs Harbour SLSC)

  • Lecke Frost (Port Macquarie SLSC)

  • Sophie Oakeshott (Port Macquarie SLSC)

  • Matthew Pieschel (Crowdy Head SLSC)

  • Abby Mulligan (Cape Hawke SLSC)

  • Flynn Wallace-Smith (Caves Beach SLSC)

  • Lanah Van Dyke (Redhead SLSC)

  • Oscar Crowe (MacMasters Beach SLSC)

  • Jade Crook (Shelly Beach SLSC)

  • Douglas Carroll (South Curl Curl SLSC)

  • Caoimehe Daly (Freshwater SLSC)

  • Riley Porteous (Wanda SLSC)

  • Sophie Burns (Elouera SLSC)

  • Sean Ritter (Scarborough-Wombarra SLSC)

  • Ava Rushton (Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC)

  • Jayden Wells (Shellharbour SLSC)

  • Torah Boyton (Shellharbour SLSC)

  • Callum Elliot (Broulee Surfers SLSC)

  • Ava Weymans (Moruya SLSC)

Program Facilitators

  • Dilan Houston

  • Jade Heber

  • Shannon Fox

  • Morgan Clarke

  • Patrick Mullan

  • Maddison McLeod



2018 Youth Opportunity Makers Participants

  • Cerys Cousins (MacMasters Beach SLSC)

  • Mackenzie Squires (Ocean Beach SLSC)

  • Jasmine Rybie (Ocean Beach SLSC)

  • Lachlan Smith (North Entrance SLSC)

  • Penelope Lovett (Salt SLSC)

  • Matilda Shirley (Byron Bay SLSC)

  • Lily Murphy (Lennox Head-Alstonville SLSC)

  • Liam Worling (Ballina Lighthouse & Lismore SLSC)

  • Hayden Beaver (Batemans Bay SLSC)

  • Matthew Goddard (Broulee Surfers SLSC)

  • Annabelle Smith (Broulee Surfers SLSC)

  • Makayla Gay (Caves Beach SLSC)

  • Meghan Fox (Thirroul SLSC)

  • Kaitlin Hearne (Wollongong City SLSC)

  • Xanthia Hughes (Crowdy Head SLSC)

  • Brandon Wallace (Crowdy Head SLSC)

  • Grace Kuhnell (Wauchope-Bonny Hills SLSC)

  • Tara Slattery (Tacking Point SLSC)

  • Holly Foster (Sawtell SLSC)

  • Joel Ruttiman  (Woolgoolga SLSC)

  • Ethan Striegher (Woolgoolga SLSC)

  • Kai Richards (Shellharbour SLSC)

  • Ethan Rowles (Shellharbour SLSC)

  • Holly De Young (Wanda SLSC)

  • Elijah Messina (Maroubra SLSC)

  • Abby Vaughan (Bondi Surf Bathers SLSC)

  • Henry McGilchrist (Avalon SLSC)

  • Lucille Moore (Bilgola SLSC)

  • Grace Seaglove (Mona Vale SLSC)

  • Elliott Prasad (Narrabeen SLSC)

Program Facilitators

  • Jake McDonald

  • Zoe Heiniger

  • Jordan Smith

  • Michael Bonnici

  • Lucy Ellis

  • Nathan de Rooy

Friday 13 April 2018