SURF STUDIO: Brett Christie
In episode three of Surf Studio we sat down with Brett Christie from Port Sorell in Tasmania to talk to about how the local surf club encouraged him to become the first lower-leg amputee in Tasmania to receive his Bronze Medallion.
Brett and his family first became involved in surf lifesaving six years ago when they stumbled across a Nippers carnival that was being held at Port Sorell SLSC and since then the Christie’s have never looked back.
In September 2014, Brett was involved in an accident that left his right foot badly dislocated and required multiple surgeries to correct his ankle.
“I’ve had 13 different surgeries trying to correct my ankle that had been damaged,” Brett said of his injury.
“In the end, April last year, the doctors decided they’d tried everything, and nothing had worked and that an amputation would probably end in the best result for me.”
Despite what Brett thought he was limited to, when it came to the Bronze Medallion, Brett said the club supported and encouraged him every step of the way.
“I’ve always wanted to do it, but never been able to do it, and I was lucky enough to get a polite nudge from a few people who said ‘you can do it’.
“They did the right thing for me and you’ve got to have those sorts of people around you in those sorts of situations.
“The club has just been incredible.
“When I did my proficiency, I looked to either side of me as I was swimming and there were Nippers on boards encouraging me, making sure I was on time and on track.”
In February of 2020, Brett became the first lower-leg amputee in Surf Life Saving Tasmania to receive his Bronze Medallion qualification, something that Brett said he couldn’t have done without the support of the community at Port Sorell SLSC.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email firstname.lastname@example.org