August 14 - 20, 2016: Issue 276

Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence 

Mike Stanley-Jones,  Avalon Beach SLSC Member behind the Youth Program which has been awarded Initiative of the Year in the SLS NSW Awards of Excellence. Photo by A J Guesdon, 2016.

NSW Lifesavers Celebrate Successful Season

Saturday August 13, 2016 – by SLS NSW
Surf lifesavers signed off on the 2015/16 season in style at the annual NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence in Sydney on Saturday evening. Over 350 surf lifesavers traded their red and yellow patrol uniforms for formal wear at the glittering celebration which was proudly presented by Stramit Building Products.

All sections of the lifesaving movement were recognised with awards presented for outstanding contributions in the areas of education, member services, lifesaving and sport.

Honours were shared among lifesavers from all across NSW and Sydney Branch finished with five awards including the overall NSW Surf Lifesaver of the Year, while the Central Coast had four winners within its ranks and earned Branch of the Year honours.

North Cronulla’s Kane Hughes capped off his evening and the season by being crowned the Surf Lifesaver of the Year, and Sussan Hunt from Batemans Bay SLSC was awarded Volunteer of the Year.

"Winning this award is a great reflection of my club and the opportunities they've given me and it's great to contribute to Surf Life Saving," Kane Hughes said.

"Being Volunteer of the Year is a great thrill and it means the hours I put in trying to make things better really do make a difference and the people in Surf Life Saving think that as well," Sussan Hunt said.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Phil Vanny AM said it was a fantastic opportunity to honour the efforts of surf lifesavers ahead of what promises to be another busy summer.

“It’s important for us as an organisation to honour the achievements of our members including those who have distinguished themselves and made outstanding contributions doing things like teaching our lifesavers the vital skills they need to save lives, inspiring our Nippers, performing daring rescues or excelling in surf sport competition.

“I would like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners, and acknowledge all of our members who volunteer their time to ensure that our beaches remain a safe place for everyone to enjoy,” Mr Vanny concluded.

Lifesavers from around NSW will be back on patrol for the first day of the 2016/17 season on Saturday 24 September.

2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence Winners

• Trainer of the Year - Kerrie Hammell (Cronulla SLSC)
• Assessor of the Year - Ben McCormack (North Bondi SLSC)
• Facilitator of the Year - Ramzy Fawzy (Wamberal SLSC)
• Community Education Program of the Year - Surf Life Saving Central Coast, Community Surf Education Program

Member Services
• Team of the Year - Bulli Open Mens Boat Crew
• Administrator of the Year - Brienna Elford (South West Rocks SLSC)
• Initiative of the Year - Avalon Beach SLSC Youth Program

Surf Sports
• Surf Sports Official of the Year - Wayne Druery (Cronulla SLSC)
• Surf Sports Coach of the Year - Peter Spence (Palm Beach SLSC)
• Masters Athlete of the Year - Laura Thurtell (Forster SLSC)
• Young Athlete of the Year - Jemma Smith (Umina Beach SLSC)
• Athlete of the Year - Daniel Collins (Redhead SLSC)

• Junior Lifesaver of the Year (Male) - Byron Vinkovic (Shellharbour SLSC)
• Junior Lifesaver of the Year (Female)- Ella Cook (Narrabeen Beach SLSC)
• Lifeguard of the Year - Angus Macphail, Tweed Shire Council
• Rescue of the Year - Macksville -Scotts Head SLSC
• Young Lifesaver of the Year - Samantha Hallett (Caves Beach SLSC)

• Stramit Club of the Year - North Bondi SLSC
• Branch of the Year - Central Coast
• Volunteer of the Year - Sussan Hunt (Batemans Bay SLSC)
• Surf Lifesaver of the Year - Kane Hughes (North Cronulla SLSC)
Peter Spence, Boat Captain at Palm Beach SLSC - Surf Sports Coach of the Year

Mr. Spence had a phenomenal 2015-2016, after losing sweep Matty Giblin through injury prior to the open of the season during a training session, then Stephen Cox through injury at the end of the season, Mr. Spence was sweeping Mr. Cox's Palmy Pumas to gold at the Aussies.

' I’m really proud of having my three teams in the States and in fact, I’m really proud of the whole boat section. Our boat section wouldn’t be what it is without the great Sweeps and support that we all give each other. We’ve got a great culture at Palm Beach and it’s something that I’m really proud to be a part of. '

This is the double in one year for Peter having won Coach of the Year at the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Awards as well.

GOLD for the Palmy Pumas in U23 Women - undefeated all Aussies, impressive stuff — Crew: Emily-Jane Sharpington-Recny, Georgia McCarthy, Alison Olmstead and Kate Molloy, Sweeps: Peter Spence, Stephen Cox,  at Aussies 2016 - Surf Life Saving Australian Titles.