For those reading who know me, they’d understand that my surf club family and the community in which I belong to is a strong passion of mine. This year, being one of my busiest years yet, was when this passion really did shine. Over the last few months I’ve had to do a lot of prioritising, which was difficult because I put my club and community before university exams and studying. I knew this was going to be critical to my grades, but I knew that an opportunity like this I had to grasp and prosper.
Our surf club had won the Club of the Year for Queensland which was an absolutely incredible achievement. It recognised the hard work, passion and commitment of the volunteers in our surf club. Being the second smallest club on the Gold Coast with ~330 members, half of those being under the age of 14, we have had one of the greatest success stories over the past 5 years (see our highlights at the end of this blog).
Although, our achievement didn’t stop there. It meant we were against the other states clubs in Australia for the national awards. I knew that I had to do something big. Our club has come so far and I knew I had to make a big impact… and that’s when I started to film. The filming, the editing, the preparation for the presentation, took me three months of effort, on top of uni, travelling, studying, working, volunteering and finding time to relax. This was the finish product – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEm5PudQAq4 I stayed up late at night, typing out a speech from the bottom of my heart. I knew I wanted these judges at our interview to feel inspired, to feel warmed and to recognise the heart and soul myself and my fellow members put into this surf club. And it worked… One was in tears, and the rest had goose bumps. I knew our surf club was unique in an absolutely amazing way and it was proven in that interview. In that interview room alongside my club President, we had given it our all. And that was reflected the next day… WE WON!!!! Our surf life saving club, Pacific SLSC, won the National Surf Life Saving Club of the year for 2016.
A lot of passion and commitment occurs at Pacific Beach and this has been proven over the past years our club has received our biggest achievements yet. We hope to prove not only to our community but nationally, that receiving medals in sports is not what the organisation is all about. Pacific’s volunteers create a healthy environment to our youth and other members of the community. We aim to admire, encourage and support the younger members of our club. We have taught them that being a part of Pacific’s team is about every individual.
Myself personally, Pacific has developed my leadership qualities and capabilities which has made me feel more confident in making a positive difference in the surf club and my own life. From this, my goal is that we will develop every youth member to have these opportunities and skills also.
I recommend volunteering to everyone as it has such a positive effect on my mental health. I recommend reading my blog post on volunteering and how it’s shaped my life –https://hayleybowers.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/volunteering-a-better-outlook-on-life/
PACIFIC SLSC HIGHLIGHTS:
- 36% increase in nipper membership
- 90% youth retention rate
- Partnership with local police beat for programs with disengaged teens and women and children that have experienced domestic violence
- QLD Youth development club of the year
- U18 Lifesaver of the year 3 years in a row
- Involvement with special needs nipper program
- Increased total patrol hours by 900 hours
Gold Coast Bulletin News Story on the National Award – http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/beaches-and-fishing/pacific-surf-lifesaving-club-at-palm-beach-gold-coast-named-best-in-australia/news-story/14c537d157b9fc928baaec605f6db8a6
Check out Pacific’s Facebook Page! – https://www.facebook.com/pacificsurflifesavingclub/
You tube video I made for the interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEm5PudQAq4
Here are a few pics from the night…