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Our Profile of the Month for July is Robert Readman from Cabarita Beach SLSC. Rob is the Chief Training Officer for his local club and was recently announced as a Trainer of the Year finalist for the 2016 Awards of Excellence. A latecomer to the Surf Life Saving family joining just three seasons ago, Rob has had an enormous impact on the movement.

This is his story;

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?

I joined Surf Life Saving in August 2013 shortly after moving to Australia. My family encouraged me to obtain my Bronze Medallion straight away before my doggy paddle got me into serious trouble!

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

When I joined the club I couldn't swim. It took 10 weeks of lessons to be confident with my pool swimming and I achieved my Bronze Medallion by Christmas 2013.

The mates I made during the course really showed me what the club and Surf Life Saving was about - such as other members helping and offering advice and encouraging members to participate in activities.

I soon found out, that the more you put into Surf Life Saving, the more you get back.

Why did you become a Chief Training Officer?

After my obtaining Bronze Medallion I became a 'course junky' as I absolutely loved learning new things, and wanted to share them. I learned early on to ask questions, and the importance of checking the source. This line of thinking soon let me to becoming a club Trainer.

I was offered the CTO roll in my first year of training and declined because I was still new to Surf Life Saving.

I felt comfortable taking on the role the following year and we now have a great team of six Trainers, Assessors and Facilitators covering multiple awards. We’re looking at expanding the team and awards next season, it’s great!

What are your goals within Surf Life Saving?

It was great to be nominated for the Far North Coast Branch award and that came a few weeks after being awarded our Club Lifesaver of the Year. It was a strange feeling at our Branch Awards night and it all feels a little surreal. I consider it huge recognition of the efforts for the road I have travelled since arriving in Australia.

What has been your best memory as a surf lifesaver?

Two weeks after training a group of SRC members I was on patrol when I had to attend a serious incident at the local hotel across the road from the Surf Club. Seeing that I was helping someone at the scene, one of the newly trained SRC's came across and offered assistance. It was fantastic to see this young person’s training kick in when a situation arose.

Tell us about your club, Cabarita Beach.

Cabarita Beach SLSC is a fantastic club full of people who are always willing to help out and try their hand at whatever comes their way. We have an increasingly busy beach during the holidays and as more and more people are discovering our beautiful area, the Surf Club’s role in the community keeps expanding.

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

This is a tough one as there are so many people who have inspired me through actions or words at all levels of Surf Life Saving.

I think every club has that one member who is always around for people. Keith Wilson is that member at Cabarita Beach SLSC who is at the club every day for a swim. He was a huge factor on me being able to swim in time for my Bronze Medallion course and he really knows the ocean and our local area.

I would also like to mention our club President, Patrick Raftery, who apart from helping me out of my first 'rip current' (whilst in doggy paddle mode), really has the club and its members interests at heart.

Favourite beach that isn’t yours?

I think you can spend a lot of time watching the water at any beach. My favourite beach away from home is Vincentia, down on the South Coast of NSW. It has spectacular white sands to relax on and crisp clear water to swim in, even if it is a bit cold during winter.

Anything else you would like to add…

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my amazing wife Elke, who is also a patrolling member. We just had our first child, Oliver Peter Readman, and without her support (and letting me down to the club at all hours and days of the week), I just wouldn't be able to do the things I've done in Surf Life Saving.


Friday 29 July 2017