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A milestone program in the Middle East has produced a new crop of Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion recipients, thanks in no small part to the intensive training course delivered with assistance from members of Surf Life Saving NSW.

The first-of-its-kind initiative saw 24 members of a Dubai-based surf club, Viking Surf Sports – ranging in age from 14-42 and encompassing 11 different nationalities – expand on their already burgeoning knowledge of surf safety, coordinated by accredited coaches and assessed by SLSNSW Life Member, Doug Hawkins of Coogee SLSC.

Viking Surf Sports was established just two years ago with the goal of helping children, teenagers and adults become more competent, confident and capable around water. The offering of SRC and BM courses is the next step in its development as the premier club in the region and in the development of skills for its members.

Reflecting on the program, Doug was glowing in his assessment of the lifesavers, 21 of whom earned their SRC while three acquired their Bronze Medallion.

“The level of lifesaving skill shown by these lifesavers was very high, and this was reflected in their focus during their rescue scenarios,” he said.

“We train people for real life rescues and it was very encouraging to see this level of focus delivered by the Vikings team.

“These young men and women would be very welcome to be part of our Surf Life Saving patrols on our beaches in Australia.”

In completing the courses, lifesavers had access to Surf Life Saving NSW e-learning assets which helped them to implement recognised and established standards for training and assessment.

“This is a historic achievement for our club,” said Viking Surf Sports founder and Surf Life Saving Australia Hall of Fame athlete, Stephen Munnery.

“When we set up Vikings it was the goal to be able to provide a safe environment to learn important surf skills, lifesaving techniques and for our teenagers to gain many life skills.

“We are so proud of their hard work over the past few months and of our coaches who trained them to the highest levels of world class life saving techniques.”

Wednesday 7 June 2023