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It’s been a busy fortnight for Ruben Roxburgh who recently returned home to the Far North coast with some new bling courtesy of his performance surfing the waves at the Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games.

Open to emergency services personnel including lifeguards and surf lifesavers, the 17th edition of the games were staged in Mandurah, Western Australia from October 28 to November 3.

More than 3,300 athletes made the journey west to compete in one of 50 sports including both surfing and surf lifesaving events with competitors from six different countries across the region taking part.

Roxburgh contested the long board, short board, and stand up paddle board divisions where his opponents included federal and state police officers, fire fighters, SES workers and paramedics.

A lifetime spent on the waves came to the fore as he powered home to win gold in both his long board and stand up paddle board finals before finishing a highly creditable fifth in the short board.

Ruben Roxburgh takes to the waves in Mandurah - credit Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games Event Photography Team

He was certainly in medal winning form coming home with two gold and a fifth place finish - credit the Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games Event Photography Team

“There was certainly some talent in the surf among the other agencies and it was an extremely competitive and fun competition,” said Ruben Roxburgh.

“I don’t think many lifesavers including those who work in the emergency services are aware they are eligible to compete in these types of competitions, but I would definitely encourage them to do so.

“It was a fantastic week with a friendly rivalry on the sporting field and a great opportunity to network off it,” he said.

Interagency cooperation is becoming increasingly important for all emergency services and already in 2018 Surf Life Saving NSW has signed a memorandum of understanding with the SES so that the two organisations could team up and give volunteers new pathways and better protect communities in emergencies and natural disasters.

“Any opportunity to work closely with and better understand other agencies is certainly going to be beneficial in the long term,” said Mr Roxburgh.

“As lifesavers we interact with them during coastal emergencies, and at the end of the day we all have the same goal,” plus he added, with tongue very firmly planted in his cheek “it’s always nice to get a medal!”

The 2018 Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games was a successful one for Ruben Roxburgh and with the next one scheduled for Wollongong in two-years-time, he will have plenty of time to train and bask in the glory of his medals.    

He event took time out to meet with surf lifesavers from Western Australia during a break from competition


Thursday 8 November 2018