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Port Macquarie SLSC brothers Eric and Peter Hammer are young lifesavers on the rise and have already earned the respect of their club for their commitment and maturity beyond their tender years. Eighteen-year-old Eric and 16-year-old Peter will both be competing at the 2017 Stramit NSW Country Championship and are well deserved nominees for Club Member of the Month.

When did you join Surf Life Saving and what appealed to you about it?

Eric - I joined Surf Lifesaving through the Nippers program in 2007 at the age of 8 because I loved the beach. I then progressed to the SRC and Bronze Medallion certifications becoming a patrolling member with a great group of people.

Peter - I started in Nippers with my brother when I was about 5. As I got older I got more into it as I could do more events like Can Swims and Board Races. This led me on to getting the appropriate certificates for competition and patrolling.

Tell us about your time in Surf Life Saving and what roles you have undertaken.

Eric - I love assisting in Water Safety activities for Nippers and Bronze squads and have furthered my role in Patrol by becoming an IRB Driver. I have performed tube, board and IRB rescues throughout the seasons and applied first aid often. I have also been asked to use my first aid knowledge and skills to assist at local Motor Cross and Go-Kart events.

Peter - As I have enjoyed Surf Lifesaving I have taken on extra roles within the community, such as helping out at Australia day events and boat regattas. I have also competed in Country and State Surf Lifesaving competitions.

What are the key lessons that you’ve learnt from your time in Surf Life Saving?

Eric - I believe communication and organisation are the two of the most important things in working a Patrol. At the start of every patrol the captain distributes roles usually placing me on either tube, board or IRB. I have learnt that it is this organisation behind the patrol which makes it run so smoothly.

Peter - How to understand and be calm in situations you may not face in everyday life, apply appropriate strategies to help people when they are in need of it and teach people how to be safe around the water ways.

What does it mean to you to be able to have the Country Champs in your home branch?

Eric - I think it provides a great opportunity for the members of the club, not only to compete, but to connect with other clubs. There is always good sportsmanship and friendly competition.

Peter - It’s a privilege to have such high levels of competition in a nearby location so we can watch and compete with other surf clubs and branches.

What do you always look forward to in summer?

Eric - That’s easy, the Beach. It’s one of the few escapes from the heat and it’s a great social place.

Peter - Being able to go down to the beach and enjoy the nice cool water knowing that you are safe and competent with what you are doing. I also enjoy being able to help out the community by patrolling our beaches.

What are your goals within Surf Life Saving?

Eric - Surf Lifesaving for me is a place which I can help out in the community whilst having fun. My only goals are to get better at it and bring more people on board.

Peter - To always enjoy the beaches and to assist others in being aware of the dangers and help to avoid them

What has been your best memory so far as a surf lifesaver?

Eric - I was on Patrol during Christmas 2015 and he club got their hands on about 100 beachballs. We threw them down to the public and everyone had a great time. Even the adults joined in. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves and it made for a really great atmosphere.

Peter - I don’t have a favourite moment, I just enjoy being with my mates and help keeping the beach safe.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why?

Eric - Rick Rolfe, my Patrol captain. His commitment to the club and enthusiasm in supporting it are admirable. He also keeps the Surf Boat rowing teams, which I have recently joined, together.

Peter - Rick Rolfe as he always encourages me to be a better person. He is my Patrol captain and boat sweep. We have grown closer as I progressed through surf lifesaving, inspiring me all the way.

Favourite beach that isn’t yours?

Eric - Cronulla Beach in Sydney was good, but I tend to stick around my home beach, Flynns.

Peter - I mainly go to Flynns and Town beaches in Port Macqaurie. They are my favourite.


Friday 27 January 2017