Over 300 guests gathered at this afternoon’s 2023 Nipper & Youth Awards presented by the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of WA, as more than 100 outstanding young members from across WA were recognised for their achievements across a range of areas, including lifesaving, surf sports competition and volunteering.
Dual award winner, Edward Davis from North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) proved he is a standout athlete to watch over the coming years. He was awarded both the Surf Sports U14/U15 Champion and U14/U15 Athlete of the Year awards thanks to his impressive performances at both the 2023 SunSmart WA Championships and the Australian Youth Championships, in addition to representing WA as a member of the Western Suns Pathway Team. Edward is currently the WA & Australian U14 Ironman Champion as well as the Australian Surf Race and WA Board Race Champion.
Floreat SLSC’s Matthew Stephens was named U14/15 Lifesaver of the Year. An active volunteer at his club, Matthew was noted for not only performing patrols but also assisting with water safety at club and community events and helping with the club’s Starfish Nippers Program every Sunday morning. During the season, when faced with the evacuation alarm, Matthew showed no hesitation when jumping in on a rescue to assist Nippers that were in the water.
Jazmin Kalmar from Secret Harbour SLSC was named 2023 Youth of the Year. Jazmin holds a number of lifesaving awards including Bronze Medallion, First Aid, Advanced Resuscitation Techniques, plus IRB Crew and a Training Officers Award which sees her assist with training new members for SRC and Bronze. Described as a positive and gracious individual, Jazmin has also acted as an Age Manager and Youth Official throughout the season.
Billy Hawkes (Trigg Island SLSC) was named Nipper of the Year. With his outstanding attendance record across all club activities, Billy has consistently demonstrated and displayed a sound understanding of the outcomes of the Woodside Nipper Program, as well as excelling in surf sports throughout the year, culminating in great performances at the recent 2023 Australian Youth Championships.
Scarboro SLSC’s Cael Mclure was named Nipper Surf Sports Champion on the back of an outstanding weekend at the recent SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships where he picked up six gold medals, three of which were for the individual Surf Race, Board Race and Ironman events.
Fellow Scarboro clubmate Lily Tolev was named Youth Official of the Year. Completing her third season of officiating, this season Lily officiated at Nippers carnival, the WA Country Carnival, and the WA IRB Championships, taking on a range of roles including marshalling, starting, judging and recording across beach and water events, ably utilising the Surftec event technology.
Twenty-eight outstanding individuals from a number of clubs were also recognised for their attainment of Gold Level in Surf Life Saving WA’s Youth Leaders Program, which required them to have accumulated more than 230 volunteer hours during their period as a youth member, requiring significant commitment and dedication across multiple seasons.
SLSWA President Craig Smith-Gander AM said he was very proud of the contributions these young members were making to their club and local communities.
“Surf Life Saving WA’s ethos of ‘saving lives and building great communities’ starts with these young people as they journey through the Woodside Nippers and youth programs at their local club,” said Mr Smith-Gander.
“Their participation in these programs instils in them values of volunteerism and social responsibility, which they will carry beyond their involvement in Surf Life Saving and into their studies, workplaces and wider communities in the future.”
With over 10,100 nippers and youth members across West Australia’s 31 surf life saving clubs, the awards were developed to recognise the contributions of these young members.
“The calibre of these award recipients was exceptional and demonstrates that the future of Surf Life Saving in WA is looking bright,” said Mr Smith-Gander.
“Each individual has demonstrated a willingness to step up, contribute, and serve, and all are worthy of recognition.”
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