To be a member of the Surf Life Saving a family, you don’t have to grow up close to the beach or “know it all”, but you have to have an open mind and a willingness to learn and take on a challenge!
Our AGL Volunteer of the Year and Official of the Year, Sandy Clarke, is the embodiment of all the things we love about the Surf Life Saving movement. Sandy is dedicated, eager to learn, always willing to encourage others to learn and share her passion and best of all, she does it with humour and a smile.
Sandy’s journey began at Sorrento SLSC as a Nipper Age Manger – scooped in fresh after doing her bronze in 1999. Moving suburbs had Sandy transfer to Mullaloo SLSC in 2004. With three children in tow and a swag of enthusiasm, Sandy has held leadership roles each year of her Surf Club career.
Over the 2017/18 season, Sandy has held positions as Mullaloo SLSC’s Commincations Manager, Surf Boat Coach, Trainer, Assessor, Official, Active Patrolling member, Honours and Awards Committee member, Social Committee member, Fundraising and Sponsorship Officer and Western Suns State Team Manager!
Winner Name: Sandy Clarke
Club: Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club
Category: AGL Volunteer of the Year and Official of the Year
What Year Did You Join Surf Life Saving: 1999
Achievements (can be personal, professional or Surf related):
- Loving technology and new ways to do things – I received an Innovation Award and Excellence Award for projects I managed at work.
- My Surf Boat Rowing career lead to World Rescue Championships in France and Amsterdam – what awesome trips they were and as masters, our crew medalled and even managed a medal in the Open Women’s – flat as a tack for surf though! WA by far has the best beaches!
- To further develop my coaching skills I gained my sweep accreditation! I love coaching surf boat rowing.
- I absolutely love the family of officials I’ve grown with, having been mentored so well. We have managed many challenging carnivals together over the years.
- Attained my Certificate IV in Training and Assessing to further develop my teaching ability and enhance others life saving skills.
- Gained a number of surf related awards, Bronze, ART, Trainer, Assessor, Facilitator, Silver Medallion – Beach Management etc., because the challenge was there. I learned heaps from the experience and feel compelled to encourage others to have-a-go because they too can achieve them.
- Tell us something interesting about yourself!
Coming from a swimming and water polo background, I never thought I’d be wedging up my bathers to row a surf boat! But seriously, through surf life saving, I have met my best friends, been on some awesome trips and rowed in some monster waves.
- Did you grow up with the beach? If so, where was your home beach?
If you call taking two trains and two buses to get to Bondi Beach every weekend I could – then yes! Brighton Le Sands was the go to for my family in Sydney. Moving to Perth in late 1989, Sorrento was the home beach for several years before settling into Mullaloo.
- When you’re not down at the beach, what keeps you busy? (Study, work, other hobbies?)
Everyone always says… “where do you find the time to do what you do” – I make time to: Take photos/videos, train (gym, ergos, rowing), teach lifesaving skills to the community and I love technology – never afraid to explore the new and exciting next big thing.
- What does Surf Life Saving mean to you?
I grew up with only a sister and mother with no extended family in Australia. When my mum passed away in 1999, I had a young family and a bucket load of grief. Surf lifesaving helped me through these difficult times by welcoming me and my family. So, what does surf life saving mean to me… it is part of me, who I am, what I do each day – my norm.
- What is the best thing about your Surf Life Saving Club?
With a Club as large as Mullaloo it offers so many opportunities to learn, develop and teach. It really does offer ‘Opportunities for Life’ – a tag line we introduced a few years ago that tells the story of our club.
- What is your most memorable – whether it be funny, happy, tear-jerking or exciting – moment you’ve had during your time with surf life saving?
Talking my husband into enjoying the ocean when he couldn’t quite swim at the time. We have since moved closer to the beach and he now enjoys all things surf life saving – of course we also found out he is horrendously allergic to stingers and perhaps his swimming could be better – and as a family we have grown and developed together through this outdoor lifestyle.
- How has Surf Life Saving shaped who you are today?
I’ve been shaped by surf life saving through the many interactions with a diversity of people. These have taught me tolerance, understanding of ‘where people are at’ and built a stronger sense of community in me. I’ve also had many experiences in surf life saving (happy, demanding, confronting) that have challenged me in a way that I now feel more confident to take on anything. I am forever grateful for the opportunities surf life saving have offered me and my family.
- What advice would you give to someone who is interested in joining Surf Life Saving?
GET INVOLVED! No matter what their interest, there is something they can contribute to, learn from, be inspired by, enjoy or triumph in. Most clubbies are passionate about surf life saving, which they love to share, so they’ll welcome you.
Read More Articles
26 . 09 . 2018
Coastal and ocean drowning deaths in WA on the decrease
Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) National Coastal Safety Report 2018, released by Senator Bridget McKenzie at Parliament House earlier this month, revealed 110 people lost their lives to drowning […]
Media Release, Safety & Rescue
25 . 09 . 2018
Two bronze for WA’s Jake Smith in Germany
While most people in WA enjoyed the relaxing spring sunshine and Queen’s Birthday long weekend, Trigg Island’s Jake Smith was taking on the world’s best pool rescue athletes at the […]
12 . 09 . 2018
2018 Awards of Excellence Winner Profile: Liam Burke
Being the youngest in a family of lifesavers, Liam grew up around the sun, sand and surf down at Fremantle SLSC, joining Nippers as an Under 8. Fast forward to […]
Awards of Excellence, Clubs & Members