My Beach

Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) members gathered in front of screens and at surf clubs throughout Western Australia on Friday night, as the 2020 Surf Life Saving WA Awards of Excellence premiered via a video ceremony.

With the annual gala dinner cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, winners across 19 categories which covered the breadth of surf life saving activities such as lifesaving, surf sports, volunteering, coaching, and education, were announced via the online presentation.

SLSWA President Craig Smith-Gander said the annual Awards of Excellence are a way to recognise and celebrate the many achievements of their members and clubs over the past season.

“While our year did not end as expected, with the cancellation of our annual Surf Life Saving Championships, our members are to be commended as they continued to provide essential lifesaving services at beaches across WA, albeit with some social distancing measures in place”.

“We finish the season with more than 22,000 members across WA – a testament to the vital role that our clubs are playing in their local communities”, said Mr Smith-Gander.

“Despite not being able to hold the event in person this year, I am delighted that we were still able to celebrate in this online format”.

Amongst the major award winners on the evening was Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club’s Janine Prinsloo, who was named AGL Volunteer of the Year. In addition to being a patrolling lifesaver, Ms Prinsloo has been instrumental in the growth of her club, working hard to promote Yanchep SLSC to the broader community.

Scarboro SLSC’s Angus McMillan led their charge, named AGL Lifesaver of the Year for his focus on continuous improvement within the lifesaving space. Clubmate Belinda Somers took out the inaugural Age Group Manager of the year title for her work with the club’s U13 members, before the club went on to claim the Lavan Club of the Year title, along with a cheque for $10,000. 

Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club also had an impressive night, taking out the inaugural Woodside Nippers Club of the Year award, the Surf Sport Team of the Year, for their Open Male 4 x 25m Manikin Relay team, the Open Athlete of the Year title to member Jake Smith, as well as third place in the Lavan Club of the Year award.

Sorrento Surf Life Saving club also fared well, with member Keiron Burke named the inaugural Woodside Nippers Coordinator of the Year, while club mate Andrew Ridley took out his third Coach of the Year award, and Roger Nowell claimed the Official of the Year title.

Representing regional clubs, Albany’s Peter Gray was named the Woodside Nippers Volunteer of the Year, while Chris Brien from Esperance Goldfields SLSC was awarded the Support Operations Volunteer of the Year, for his substantial involvement in and contribution to search and rescue, and emergency response activity over the past season.  

The winners of the following awards will go on to represent WA at the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence later this year: Community Program, Official, Coach, Athlete, Trainer, Assessor, Youth Lifesaver, AGL Lifesaver, AGL Volunteer and Lavan Club of the Year.

A full list of 2020 SLSWA Awards of Excellence winners can be seen here.