Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC has become the first surf life saving club on the far north coast to be awarded Bronze-level status as part of the Surf Life Saving NSW Quality Clubs Program.
After being awarded Surf Life Saving Club of the Year at both state and national levels in 2012, Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore is aiming for back-to-back titles in this award category. The club has operated out of shipping containers in the Lighthouse Beach carpark since 2005 and members are looking forward to starting the 2013–14 season in the newly built clubhouse.
Bronze-level status is a tremendous achievement and is awarded to clubs that have shown outstanding progress in their activities and operations. The program recognises best-practice operations within all areas of surf life saving including life saving and patrols, training and education, surf sports, member services and a range of club management areas including administration, finance and marketing. Volunteer surf life savers work hard each summer to keep the public safe on our beaches and the Quality Clubs Program is one way to recognise the commitment, teamwork and high-level skills achieved by some clubs.
The program focuses on developing and maintaining the health of the surf life saving movement throughout NSW by recognising the continual improvements and achievements that are made by many clubs.
Encouraging and awarding clubs for achieving best practice not only recognises the efforts of the clubs’ volunteers, but provides the local community, and visitors to Lighthouse Beach, a safer beach environment.
‘I have to say that it was the journey towards achieving Bronze level for the Quality Clubs Program that really led us to the Club of the Year achievement,’ said club secretary, Sharon Balkin. ‘The prospect of back-to-back Club of the Year titles is pretty daunting but I guess our members are up to anything given half a chance. It has been a pretty amazing twelve months.’
Club president Kris Beavis, a member for over 40 years, was also delighted at the award. ‘For a club of our size to tick those boxes has been such a highlight for me,’ he said. ‘I joined as a nipper in the early 1970s and am just as excited about what the new facility will bring to our member development.’
For more information on the Surf Life Saving Quality Clubs Program please visit www.surflifesaving.com.au or contact SLSNSW members services manager, Claire Parry, on 02 9471 8020.