Although Sam Ranson, our Young Achiever of the Year, is currently studying in Melbourne, his heart belongs to his surf club back home here on the west coast.
The Floreat SLSC member is a natural leader, holding roles as Patrol Captain, leader of the club’s annual cadet camp and an integral part of the delivery of Floreat’s training courses.
We asked him about his experiences with the surf lifesaving movement and how he uses these skills throughout his studies and in everyday life.
Q. How would your friends describe you in one word?
Q. When and why did you join surf lifesaving?
A. After moving to Perth in 2006, after four years in London, I joined Floreat SLSC as I had missed the registration for the junior cricket season. I was nine years old and had very little experience in the ocean.
Q. Tell us about your club, Floreat SLSC.
A. Floreat SLSC prides itself on being a place for families and I loved spending time around the club whilst growing up. It was always a welcoming & safe environment, the closest friendships I still have were made through the club as we grew up together at the beach, and away from it as families mixed outside regular club Sundays.
Q. What is your favourite beach in WA and why?
A. Smiths Beach, Yallingup. Like everyone I always enjoy getting out of Perth and heading down south and for me Smiths always comes up good, whether it be a big day of surfing waves or just another day enjoying the beach, Smiths is a highlight of the WA coastline.
Q. What are you currently studying?
A. I’m studying Finance and Economics at the University of Melbourne.
Q. How has surf lifesaving helped you in other aspects of your life, i.e. Uni, part time work, mental toughness etc?
A. One of the best things about surf lifesaving is that it can bring such a diverse group of people together. Whether you’re a club director, patrol member or nipper, communication skills and the ability to work as a team in such a diverse environment are essential. I use these skills more and more every day at Uni and work and no doubt trust that it has been my time within surf that has allowed me to develop them.
Q. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
A. I’d definitely want to be able to fly, doesn’t everybody?
Q. What is your favourite song lyric or movie quote?
A. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Q. What is the funniest memory you have from your time with surf lifesaving?
A. Every year I always enjoy watching the entertaining ways different clubs attempt (occasionally without success) to bring Santa to nippers the Sunday before Christmas.
Q. If you could speak to everyone in the world at the same time, what would you say?
A. Remember to swim between the flags!
Q. What values has surf lifesaving taught you?
A. To me surf lifesaving is about community. Whilst much of what we do is in service of the community surrounding our local beaches, the environment created within clubs and between clubs is a priceless community, pivotal to providing the service we do.
Q. What is one piece of advice you have for younger members of surf lifesaving?
A. To give everything and anything a go, you’ll never know what you enjoy, who you’ll meet, or how good you’ll be until you try it.
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