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Mona Vale’s desire to create competitive opportunities for children living with disabilities has been formally recognised at the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence with the honour of Initiative of the Year.

While there has been an increase in recent years of surf clubs and programs including Nippers becoming more accessible for children living with a disability in recent years, the chance to participate in competition are few and far between.

And it was this gap that prompted Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club to create the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Special Needs Championship which was held for the first time in the 2016/17 season.

Once word spread, kids from across the Branch were keen to get involved with 40 signing up for the event.

“We’re very proud of the award. The committee gave us so much more support and it gained momentum growing from there. It was a fantastic day and we’re looking at running it again this year and hopefully opening it up to the other Branches as well,” said Michael Wasley from Mona Vale SLSC.

There was a wide variety of events for the youngsters aged 5-24 and they along with their families had a fantastic day.

The club spirit was on display with many Mona Vale junior competitors coming down to assist and cheer on their teammates.

“Every photo taken on the day has kids smiling which is great and I think reminds them all of why they do which is the enjoyment of it, and that is what Surf Life Saving is about,” Mr Wasley 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