July 2 - 8, 2017: Issue 319

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Awards of Excellence 

2016-2017 Season

SLS SNB Awards of Excellence for 2016/17 Season - photo courtesy Roger Sayers.
On Friday 23rd of June 2017 the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch held its annual Awards of Excellence for the 2016-2017 Season, recognising the outstanding service, contributions to surf life saving and achievements during the 2016/17 Season of members of this local Branch.

The event, held at Dee Why RSL Club, was a chance for members to relax and catch up with fellow club members outside of the patrol, carnivals and events each club holds within its own calendar each year.

Awards to recognise those who had made outstanding contributions over the season as well as excelled consistently in surf sports, just one of the areas that ensures those on the beach are maintaining a level of fitness that enables them to help those who need it, featured among the lists of Lifesaver of the Year, Initiative of the Year and those awards that recognise all who work to make everything run well - Faciltators, Officials, Administrators and the all important Patrol Assessments.

Most clubs will have nominated one in many or all of the roles listed below.

It is the practice f the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch to recognise new Life Members at their annual Awards for Excellence and it is also a chance to honour those who have served the movement for years through such awards as The Presidents Award.

SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Director of Lifesaving Geoff Raper is set to leave his post after four years. Geoff was presented with this year's President's Award at the Branch Awards of Excellence at Dee Why RSL Club on Friday.

''He has done so much for the organisation,'' Branch president Doug Menzies said at the awards evening.
Geoff will still be heavily involved with North Palm Beach SLSC.

''I think once you get involved in it (lifesaving) you are in it for life,'' Geoff said.

Geoff Raper (left) with Doug Menzies.

Life Members who received awards at the event are Mona Vale's Michael Wasley. Michael is a former Branch Lifesaver of the Year but stated the Life Membership was very special.

''To have your name alongside the calibre of the people in the past is an absolute pleasure and just something you never expect. It's unreal. I love it.''
Michael attended the Awards of Excellence at Dee Why RSL Club on Friday night as his club had been nominated for the RFi Initiative of the Year. 
Mona Vale won this award for the Special Needs Branch Championships this year.

''That's why I thought we (the club) were here,'' he said.  ''It was just phenomenal to get this award,'' he said.

''We are hoping to do it more justice and make it a bigger event next season.'' he stated regarding the great carnival the club put on last season.

Michael Wasley - new Branch Life Member. Photo: Bill Sheridan

Newport's Marty Lynch also was recognised with Life Membership of the Branch at this year's Awards of Excellence.
The Australian beach coach and Newport SLSC member, was one of two awards recognising the Lynch family as son Jake was named Speedo Athlete of the Year.

Marty said: ''I really didn't expect it but it is certainly a great honour. Longevity I expect.''
Jake said: ""It is a very good felling to come away with the award. I feel there could have been so many more nominations for this award, but I am very excited.
''I thought it could go anyway.''

Jake is now hoping to win selection in the Aussie team later in the year.

Marty (left) and Jake Lynch at the awards at Dee Why RSL Club.

Freshwater SLSC's Wayne Freakley was also honoured with Life Membership of SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Branch. 

Wayne at the Awards of Excellence at Dee Why RSL Club on Friday night with NSW State and Northern Beaches MP's Rob Stokes, Brad Hazzard and SNB Branch President Doug Menzies

SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Volunteer of the Year, David Cowell, is another fine example of what it's all about. At North Steyne SLSC he's heavily committed working as their marketing director, grants officer, Patrol Captain and nipper gear steward. Every Sunday he sets up for nippers and also runs the Special Needs Program at the club. He's proud also to do patrols with older son Oscar and watch younger son Sam do nippers. 
''I guess the most satisfying thing for me over the past four years is developing a Special Needs Program. We now have 40 kids involved,'' David said.

David Cowell with his award. Photo: Bill Sheridan.

Newport SLSC member Adrian Hill was awarded the Facilitator of the Year.

''I'd won the President's Award when Dave Murray was Branch President but this was my first education award,'' he said. ''I've only sort of facilitated the last two years.

''I've taken on a bit of a challenge this year to try and do as many Beach Management Courses as I can because there is such a waiting list.

''It's something that we need to get happening in the Branch with the Patrol Captains to get the skill level up and it is good to see these young people come through and becoming Patrol Captains.'' the Newport club member explained.

Adrian Hill receives his award at the Dee Why RSL Club on Friday night. Photo: Bill Sheridan

Assessor of the Year is Gordy Coburn, a member of the North Narrabeen SLSC. 

''I came here for a few beers and to have some fun. I never expected this,'' Gordy said, ''This is very special. I went up for it last year but was beaten by a better person.''

Gordy paid tribute to Adrienne Lowe, Steve Haggett and Louise Lindop for mentoring him. As it turned out, SLSSNB Education Director Adrienne Lowe presented Gordy with his award.

Gordy receives his award from Adrienne Lowe.

Incidentally, Louise Lindop, as named by Gordy, was also recognised at this years awards of Excellence with an Outstanding Service Award. Anyon who knows how much this lady puts into training others off season and during the season will know this recognition is well deserved. 

Louise lives her life by a philosphy of Give back."

" For me it's a natural instinct. I’m always sticking my nose in if I think somebody needs help with something, whether it’s crossing the road or getting something off the high shelf in the supermarket or whatever it is, my natural instinct is to offer to help. 

To me it’s nothing to give up a night a week for a couple of months so 50 kids can get their Bronze. To me it’s not a hardship, or being a do-gooder, it’s simply what I enjoy doing." the lady explained when we spoke to her for a Profile in 2015.

Louise with her award - photo by Roger Sayers

For the second year in a row a female has won the Life Saver of the Year, Whale Beach SLSC's Lara Boyle receiving this prestigious award.
''When I first saw the nominees I thought it would be very close but never expected my name to be read out,'' said the affable Lara.

A relative late starter to surf lifesaving, Lara has been CTO and Patrol Captain at her club, before becoming Club Captain this year. Lara holds the Gold Medallion - the pinnacle of surf lifesaving awards and is also a jet ski operator for Branch. She already has plans to focus on the development of the club's younger members next season.

Lara with Geoff Raper, the outgoing Branch Director of Lifesaving at Dee Why RSL Club on Friday.

The SNB Branch awards are also about recognising those who make an outstanding mark in the fitness arena - there's nothing like being on the sand, amongst the salt air, and enjoying the sun to make you want to revel in being as fit as you can be - and this is something that can begin when you're young but certainly doesn't finish as you mature. The Masters Divisions of Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches are one of the areas biggest divisions and hold among their ranks current champions in other arenas as well as grounded people who are only too happy to hel and mentor those coming up.

Warriewood's Adam Gee, Branch Masters Athlete of the Year, always attributes his wins as a shared victory with fellow club members:
"Thank you also goes to my team mates Christopher Macdonald James Leggett-Budden Ben Hargy and Glen Bauder (Frederick). This award I dedicate to Warriewood club for all that is does for the local community." Adam said after winning the award.

Adam only starting competing about five years ago.
''I never really knew I was quick until someone at the club said I should start competing,'' Adam said.
At his first Aussies, Adam came second in his individual sprint and won gold at Aussies this year.
The Warriewood relay team cleaned up this year - gold at Branch, State and Aussies and they also at the World Games in New Zealand.

''It's an incredible honour,'' he said. ''This was the best season for myself and the team.''

Adam Gee at the awards night.

Surf Sports hone and maintain the skills of surf life savers where mental and physical fitness, matched with training and consistency, ensures all facets of surf life saving not only showcase what can be done it also underlines members of our local clubs are people who make a difference outside of their clubs too, as was the case a few weeks ago when Pinkies crew member Nick Sampson, an Avalon Beach SLSC surf boat crew, had been given the skills to help a person outside of the season. Nick and his fellow Pinkies team mates also work in the IRB's, the next generation of surf life saving equipment after the boats and are currently competing in the state premiership rounds, along with Newport and Bungan, as well as Freshwater. These are run during Winter as the equipment is in constant use during the season. Being able to use surf life saving equipment well and do this consistently requires year round dedication.

The U23 Pinkies took out the Branch pointscore of the year again this season - more on them when the 2017-2018 Season commences.

Four of the five Pinkies members

Freshwater SLSC had a great evening at this years' SLSSNB Branch Awards of Excellence. In surf sports, Sharon Johnson won Coach of the Year, Tahlia Dearden won Young Athlete of the Year and Team of the Year with Kelly Dobrow and Cheryl White cleaning up in First Aid competition.
Sharon also coached the Queenscliff and North Narrabeen teams in First Aid, so she had three teams at Aussies.

''What was remarkable about Kelly and Cheryl was that they won by 70 points (in First Aid) at Aussies,'' Sharon said.

Sharon was shocked with her award, as was young Tahlia.
''I was not expecting to win in the slightest,'' she said. ''I was going up against Naomi Scott, who is amazing. I was hoping but not expecting anything,'' Tahlia said.

Freshwater's Sharon Johnson (left), Tahlia Dearden, Kelly Dobrow and Cheryl White. Photo: Bill Sheridan

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Awards of Excllence 2016/2017
Sponsor                      Award                                            Awarded to                                           Club
Bill Buckle Auto Group       Trainer                                                        Mike Le Geyt                                                        South Curl Curl
Bill Buckle Auto Group       Assessor                                                    Gordy Coburn                                                       North Narrabeen
Bill Buckle Auto Group       Facilitator                                                   Adrian Hill                                                              Newport
Northern Beaches              Council Community Education Award     Wet  'N Wild                                                          North Steyne
Rfi    Initiative                      Special Needs branch                               Carnival                                                                 Mona Vale
URM                                    Volunteer                                                     David Cowell                                                        North Steyne
Thredbo                              Services Team Award                               After Hours Services Team                                 Miscellaneous
NB Harley Davidson         Administrator                                               Tony Falzarano                                                     North Steyne
Westfield Warringah Mall Lifesaver                                                      Lara Boyle                                                             Whale Beach
Dematic                             Young Lifesaver                                           Sam Hurrell                                                           Freshwater
Dematic                             Young Lifesaver - Highly Commended     James Wacher                                                      Manly
Dee Why RSL                   Rescue of the Year                                      Whale Beach                                                        Whale Beach
President's Award                                                                                  Geoff Raper                                                           North Palm Beach
Bennett Boards                 Overall Carnival Handicap Point Score    Newport                                                                 Newport
Branch Championship Point Score                                                       Manly                                                                     Manly
Branch Championship Handicap Point Score                                     Manly                                                                     Manly
Speedo                              Young Athlete                                               Tahlia Dearden                                                    Freshwater
Speedo                              Athlete                                                          Jake Lynch                                                            Newport
Speedo                              Masters Athlete                                           Adam Gee                                                             Warriewood
Speedo                              Coach                                                           Sharon Johnson                                                   Freshwater
Speedo                              Official                                                          Matt Molinia                                                           Dee Why
Speedo                              Team                                                            Open First Aid Team                                            Freshwater
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 1                                                                                                                  Newport    1398
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 2                                                                                                                  North Palm Beach    1391
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 3                                                                                                                  Freshwater    1390
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 4                                                                                                                  North Steyne    1388
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 5                                                                                                                  Queenscliff    1376
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 6                                                                                                                  Bilgola    1373
Lipton Ice Tea                    Patrol Assessment 7                                                                                                                  Narrabeen Beach    1370
Streets                                Most Improved Club                                                                                                                    Mona Vale