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It’s been a hugely successful season for the 2018 Junior Lifesavers of the Year Sophie Burns (Elouera) and Oscar Crowe (MacMasters Beach) with the duo honoured at the 2018 Awards of Excellence in Sydney last weekend.

Although they were crowned with their title in April, Saturday’s presentation marked the first time the talented pair had been acknowledged by the wider lifesaving community.

During the Easter School Holidays twenty-two finalists from the eleven branches in NSW were invited to take part in the annual leadership and development program which brings together outstanding young surf lifesavers in their final year of nippers.

After impressing the judging panel, Sophie and Oscar were named the Female and Male Junior Lifesavers of the Year respectively.

“I feel really proud to have this honour because it means I am representing as a youth leader all junior lifesavers in NSW and all the Nippers as well,” Sophie Burns said.

The Elouera teenager who has been involved in surf lifesaving since she was 6-years-old has come a long way since those early beach days where her parents had to drag her to nippers kicking and screaming.

“I’m so glad I stuck with it as it’s been so worthwhile. My goal now is to give youth a voice. I would like to make them known and to speak out and have their opinions heard,” she said.

Sophie has completed her SRC and her leadership skills were recognised when she was named Vice Captain of the Nippers club in 2017/18, and is heavily involved at her club.

One of her season highlights includes helping out with the Elouera Yellow Fins Program which provides an accessible Nippers program for those who are unable to participate in the mainstream one, and heavily advocates Take 3 For the Sea.

Oscar Crowe who hails from MacMasters Beach on the state’s Central Coast has also been involved with Nippers since the tender age of six.

The teenager holds an SRC certificate, and has recently completed his rookie season on patrol. A passionate environmentalist he is part of the Duke of Edinburgh program to help clean up local waterways.

Already proving himself to be a committed clubman he loves nothing more than helping out with safety with the younger members and is always ready to assist with fundraising.

He believes lifesaving has had a positive impact on his life.

“It’s given me a way to help the community and I have met so many friends through,” he told SLSNSW earlier in 2018.

The Central Coast teenager has already set his sight on his next dream within surf lifesaving.   

“I currently hold my SRC and I want to obtain my Bronze Medallion. Eventually I would like to move on and get my Silver Medallion as an IRB and jetski driver. When I am old enough I’d like to get my gold medallion as well and eventually become a patrol captain,” he said.

The 2018 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly supported by Port Authority of New South Wales with almost 400 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathering at Dockside, Cockle Bay to celebrate the season that was.

Oscar Crowe (MacMasters Beach) and Sophie Burns (Elouera) ended their Nippers career on a high as the Junior Lifesavers of the Year 

For a full list of all the winners, and to see photographs from the night, please visit the SLSNSW Awards of Excellence Event Page or our social media channels


Wednesday 29 August 2018