It’s been a huge season for South Maroubra’s Damien Woods who celebrated his 21st season as a surf lifesaver in 2018, and has recently been appointed the NSW IRB Coach for the upcoming Interstate Championship.
In a year full of highlights he has acted as a facilitator for the City to Country Exchange, travelled to New Zealand as part of the delegation that participated in the annual Northern Region Lifeguard School, and also planned and deliver two SLSNSW IRB Development Clinics.
His passion and enthusiasm for all things surf lifesaving hold him in good stead, and he is a highly respected by his peers. This was reflected in 2015 when he was presented with an honour blazer by his beloved club.
“My love for lifesaving began as a teenager when I joined South Maroubra, but it kicked up a gear once I had obtained my Bronze Medallion and was able to start patrolling,” he said.
“I would say that my biggest achievement in lifesaving would be having the honour to be the Club Captain at South Maroubra SLSC. I love the club and everything it stands for, so to be able to give back in a position of great responsibility is something that means a great deal.”
When asked about what is it that makes volunteering as a surf lifesaver so appealing the affable Woods was quick to reply.
“You get so much from being a lifesaver because you’re on the frontline and really making a difference in your community. There’s just something special about the culture around the club and being able to feel that you are making a difference,” he said.
“Above all I believe it’s about the friendships and the people you meet. If you are going to volunteer why wouldn’t you do it down the beach in the sun keeping your community safe with your lifesaving friends?”
“It’s one of the best places you can be!”
Despite his long hours on the beach, Damien Woods remains equally committed to his young family and is an example of someone who lives by the volunteer ethos of ‘Gives A Little. Change A Lot.’
There can be no higher tribute than that.