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More than 60 outstanding young individuals from across Western Australia were recognised yesterday at Surf Life Saving WA’s inaugural Nipper & Youth Awards, presented by the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of WA.

With nearly 10,000 nipper and youth members across 31 West Australian surf life saving clubs, the Nipper & Youth Awards were developed to recognise the contributions of young members.

The planned in-person ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19 with announcements instead made online via a video premiere.

Surf Live Saving WA President Craig Smith-Gander said they were very proud of the contributions these young members were making to not only their club, but also to their 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 nipper 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, values that they will carry beyond their participation in surf life saving and into their studies, workplaces, and wider communities in the future.”

Categories awarded included the U15 Lifesaver of the Year and Youth Official of the Year; while the Nipper and Youth of the Year recipients were drawn from amongst representatives of surf life saving clubs across WA.

Five outstanding individuals were also recognised for their attainment of Gold level in the Youth Leaders Program; the highest level available, requiring significant commitment and dedication across the season.

“The calibre of these award recipients was exceptional and demonstrates that the future of surf life saving in WA is in very good shape,” said Mr Smith-Gander.

“Each of these individuals have demonstrated a willingness to step-up, contribute, and serve, and all are worthy of recognition.”

We also extend our thanks to longstanding SLSWA partner, the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation, for their ongoing support of our young members.

2020 Category Winners and Award Recipients

 2020 Nipper of the Year

The Nipper of the Year is awarded to the most outstanding Nipper Club Achiever.*

 *The Nipper Club Achiever award is presented to an outstanding nipper member (U10-U13), as nominated by their club, in recognition of their achievement in the areas of individual safety, surf awareness, lifesaving, and surf sports skills, within the Woodside Nipper Program.

Hamish Bowles – Albany Surf Life Saving Club

Age: U13

Hamish is an exceptional role model for the other Woodside Nippers at Albany SLSC. He always displays a positive “can-do” attitude and relates well with all members both young and old. Each week Hamish volunteers to prepare equipment for others to use within the Woodside Nipper Program. When given the opportunity he represents his club with pride.


 2020 Youth of the Year

The Youth of the Year is awarded to the most outstanding Youth Club Achiever.*

 *The Youth Club Achiever award is presented to an outstanding youth member (U14-U17), as nominated by their club, in recognition of their achievements and commitment to the areas of lifesaving, training, leadership and surf sports.

 Casey Cruttenden – Esperance Goldfields Surf Life Saving Club

Age: U17

Casey is an outstanding role model for youth at his club. Given he is still in the age bracket himself Casey is a leader and youth representative. He mentors younger members and has overseen the Youth Leaders Program in the club. Casey has various SLS awards and was made a Patrol Captain last season.


 2020 U15 Lifesaver of the Year

This award is presented for outstanding patrolling service by a youth Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) holder during the 2019/20 season.

 Sydnee Gould – Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club

Age: U14

Sydnee is a valuable patrolling member who has completed over a hundred hours of patrol and water safety service. At her young age Sydnee has taken on a club office and is her clubs Radio Operator. Sydnee approaches everything she does in the club with enthusiasm and a massive smile.

2020 Youth Official of the Year

This award is presented for outstanding contribution and commitment to officiating within surf life saving during the 2019/20 season.

 Annika Rasmussen – Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club

Age: U17

Annika has taken on a variety of official duties this season. She always willingly and enthusiastically undertakes the role she is asked to perform. She relates well to all, competitors, spectators and other officials. Her maturity and professionalism has seen her given tasks that would normally go to someone more senior in age and rank.


Gold Youth Leaders Program – Recipients

Available to all youth members, the optional Youth Leaders Program tracks the hours a youth member puts into lifesaving, training, and surf sports. There are three recognition levels to the program; Bronze, Silver and Gold, which are increasingly difficult to obtain.

Those who have successfully completed the highest level, Gold, were presented their award.

  • Annabelle Macmahon – Esperance Goldfields Surf Life Saving Club
  • Georgia Moar – Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club
  • Jasmine Noorman – Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club
  • Kali Grayson-Dharmaputra – Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club
  • Riley Somers – Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club

For the full list of finalists and recipients click here