GRACE YOUNG (YOUTH MEMBER / TRAINER)
I have been asked to write a testimonial of my participation/involvement with the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club, the culture, friendships, how I feel wearing the Seacliff brand….
My participation and involvement with the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club began 1999, when at the age of eight; my mum took me to join the Seacliff Junior (Nippers) under 9’s group. That was the start to a way of life, a philosophy and ‘my second home’ through both the on and off season that would help foster, encourage and sometimes prod me into becoming the person I am today – a responsible and valued citizen, role model and youth leader, fun loving and confident young person who is committed to the service of others, who seeks to give back and be an advocate, mentor and leader of the next generation. Always remembering there is more to learn.ϑ(Well, I hope that’s how I come across!!) How does this come about at Seacliff? It’s the family of people, the relationships that role model caring and forgiveness within the team, encouragement and support of each other, innovative next generation advocacy as seen with the Tiny Tots and this year’s inaugural Youth Committee and flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. It’s about always striving for excellence of spirit and heart.
Seacliff has provided great opportunities to grow and develop both personally and professionally, with their ‘have a go’; ‘at whatever your level of capabilities’, and ‘where ever your interest lies’ – because whatever you do choose, Seacliff has a ‘we’re here for you’ culture. This has seen me train and compete in all water and beach events, march past, R&R, Patrol, Champion Lifesaver, and of course my great love – First Aid, where from the age of 10 I would follow Deb Lassock around summer and winter helping out coaching and learn how to be part of the ALL BLACK OUT – for State First Aid and R&R Championships. With my long time fellow – peer and competing team member James Shaw, we won numerous state medals, but the best was travelling interstate from the age of 14 and competing in the next five AUSSIES (Australian National Surf Life Saving Championships) and as 17 year old winning Silver in under19 First Aid. What a way to grow – away with my 2ndfamily, exploring other parts of Australia, mixing other surf life savers, coaches and especially the judges who after 5 years really go to know James and I when we would turn up in our black and white not just representing SA but more importantly Seacliff and I was honoured and humbled by being recognised by the club and local council in being nominated as Local Hero – Young Community Leader, Young Citizen and SA Young Australian over recent years. Above all, Seacliff Club has demonstrated enduring relationships and role models – age managers, coaches, trainers, mentors, presidents, secretaires, clubbies, parents, and of course my own parents – all of whom have been there for me and still are. This has enabled me to give back and try and be like my role models – as I have taken on the roles of patrol officer, coach of First Aid (& what a blast seeing those I helped train producing a blackout); age group manager (and wow!! the current under 14’s are the group that I started with way back 7 years ago; youth representative on both the junior and senior committees (now!! There’s hard work ϑ learning how to be a committee member); vice captain/chief instructor as a 17 and 18 year old – that was a great honour in being asked to undertake that role, I learnt so very much – how to and how not to train others, co-ordinate training programs – surf life saving qualifications, compose newsletters, consult with and liaise with State SLSSA, maintain and monitor equipment, try and develop other ‘trainers’ especially the youth ( all while undertaking year 12 and first year tertiary study, HOWEVER the stand out for me was that while I could have done better – the joy and pride in those who did achieve their bronze and qualifications and who have gone onto being more active Seacliff members – is the best reward and wearing the black and white club colours both at events and outside the club gives me a great sense of honour, knowing that I represent a great tradition, have a strong support base behind me and am promoting the club and surf life saving to the community: that our mission is to serve.
Taking pride in being able to say to new people – come and join Seacliff, anyone can, no matter your interest; you don’t need to be a top athlete, or even undertake patrol: we all have different talents and interest and be a member, because Seacliff is a family club where you will feel included and connect with others – having a go.
Lastly, saying – THANK YOU – to just some of the many people who have been there for me – Deb Lasscock, David Shaw, James Shaw, Jack Perry, the twins – Adam and Kim Harris, Jess Arbon, Bly, Glen Patten, Phil Hoff, and there are just so many more who know who they are ϑ– but at the very beginning my first age group mentor – a then 16 year old Katie Woods and her mum Meredith who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and has done ever since. Thank you. I look forward to advancing Seacliff and develop collaborative partnerships.