Being a volunteer surf lifesaver is one of the best decisions I ever made. It allows me to combine my love of all things water and helping people.
It all started when I was about 5 years old when my parents signed me up to do nippers, which is a junior program that introduces surf life saving to children between 5 and 13.
I had always loved being in and around water as a child even though there was an incident where I almost drowned because I thought I was old enough to surf on my own. My confidence took a knock and I was a little afraid to go back into the water, but nippers helped me overcome my anxiety. It helped me grow my confidence and taught me how to be responsible at the beach, around swimming pools and all other bodies of water.
At age 15 I decided I wanted to carry on being around water and joined surf lifesavers as a volunteer.
Surf lifesavers is a not for profit organisation that provides surf rescue services and promotes water safety all across Australia. They also are Australia’s largest lifeguard service and contract out their service to coastal land managers and local governments.
- Be a minimum of 15 years of age
- Be a proficient swimmer – swimming in a pool and in the ocean require different skill sets and a good lifesaver would be proficient at doing both.
- Be up to date with rescue techniques – This is done as part of the annual skills maintenance, where skills are updated.
- Have a good knowledge of first aid, including resuscitation – being a surf life saver also requires treating injuries that may occur on the beach as well as in the water
- Obtain a bronze medallion training qualification
- Good general fitness level
Taking part in regular exercise also helps me perform tasks easier as I have to be able to get people out of the water quickly.
I like to work with weights at the gym to build muscle. To help me do this I now buy whey protein isolates online, up until now I was getting my workout supplements from my local supermarket. I find using these supplements help me build muscle and prevents me from eating lots of junk food.
I volunteer my time and believe in the surf lifesaver vision and mission of saving lives, building great communities and creating great Australians, while providing a safe beach and aquatic environment across Australia.
So if you are like me and would love to combine being around water, helping people and enjoy one of Australia’s greatest past times with lots of others join your local surf life saving club and start working towards getting your bronze medallion.
After joining a local club and have completed your qualification you will be able to wear the red and yellow colours of a surf lifesaver.