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Although it was the uniform that attracted her in the beginning, passion made her stay, which proved to be a fruitful decision for the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saver of the Year Lara Boyle.

The Whale Beach club captain took out the overall honour at a gala ceremony at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel last Saturday.

“There are some really incredible guys and girls who were nominated for Surf Lifesaver of the Year so just to stand on the same stage let alone have my name called out is just an amazing feeling,” she said.

It’s fair to say that this talented young woman wears many hats at her beloved Northern Beaches club. Some of her current positions include Patrol Vice-Captain, Trainer, Assessor, Mentor, RWC Operator, IRB Driver, and a member of the Whale Beach Management Committee.

Her journey in Surf Life Saving began eight years ago after a few friends signed up through a school program and after taking a liking to the uniform the then-teenager was hooked.

It’s a passion that has only continued to gain momentum over the years.

A casual glance at her patrol log reveals some impressive numbers.

In the 2016/17 season she completed 154 patrol hours at Whale Beach SLSC, 62 hours on the Sydney Northern Beaches Support Skis, and 4.5 hours at North Wollongong.

Last summer she became the second woman on the Sydney Northern Beaches to become a Jet Ski Support Operator and holds the distinction of being the youngest operator on the Branch team.

Her leadership potential impressed many and she also took full advantage of a number of programs throughout the year including the SLSNSW Development Networking Program, 2017 National Leadership College where she became the ‘designated President’, as well as representing Surf Life Saving Australia on the 2017 Japan lifesaving exchange program.

In a season of many highlights she found it challenging to single out one but it becomes clear that she is most proud of being a member of her club.

“There have been so many highlights this season, and our club has achieved so many milestones by really pulling the focus back on lifesaving,” said Lara Boyle.

“It was a real privilege to be club captain of Whale Beach but for me the best thing was seeing our members develop. As a club we punch way above our weight so to win this award is just the cherry on top.”

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