17 May 2021
For Surf Life Saving Northern Region
Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) will be honouring its best and bravest again this July.
After COVID-19 forced an online, truncated Awards of Excellence last year, a return to relative normality is welcome, says SLSNR CEO Matt Williams. “Last year was busy and challenging for our volunteers and staff in a lot of ways and we missed that opportunity to meet as a region, reflect on a great year’s work and celebrate the achievements and individual successes, and the many lives saved through our actions.”
Williams says the COVID-19 restrictions continued to make service delivery challenging as lifeguard services had to be altered to enable delivery in the changing and changeable alert levels. “We prepared for a busy and strenuous summer on the coast, and it was really gratifying that the behaviours of the public were generally exemplary, taking some of the pressure off our lifeguards.”
He says it was also pleasing to see the lifesaving movement rally behind efforts to ensure volunteer development and community education numbers remained on track despite a very difficult start to the year because of the COVID-19 restrictions. “It continues to show the enormous output of our volunteers when they bring their strength to bear in saving lives on our coastlines.”
Northern lifeguards rescued 148 people during the 2020-21 patrolled season and assisted another 264 before they got into serious difficulty, says Williams. Lifeguards also administered a significant level of first-aid assistance – attending to 730 individuals.
“All told, our guards chalked up almost 93,000 hours on patrol and intervened to avoid beachgoers getting into difficulty nearly 26,000 times. That’s a massive contribution to public safety.”
Williams says this year’s Awards, again sponsored by Toyota Financial Services, will be held at the Cordis Hotel on 17 July.
A record number of nominations have been received for the Awards, which has four major categories and close to 40 awards and also honours a number of club members with long-service awards and life memberships. Finalists will be announced in mid-June. The only changes to categories this year will be the replacement of the under-16 individual male and female surf sport awards with under-15 and under-17 categories.
A full list of categories follows.
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