Surf Studio Episode Fifteen – Awards of Excellence
On this week’s episode of Surf Studio, we take a look at Surf Life Saving Australia’s night of nights, the 2020 Awards of Excellence – where our members are recognised for their commitment and dedication to the movement. With the event having to take place virtually in 2020, this week we caught up with three award recipients from the evening.
First up we chat with 2020 Athlete of the Year, reigning Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series Champion Lana Rogers about her first series win and what she’s looking forward to this season.
We chat to DHL Volunteer of the Year, Belinda Doman from Coolangatta SLSC about the many roles she holds at all levels of the movement and her dedication to training and educating surf lifesavers.
And finally, we chat with DHL Club of the Year Penguin SLSC President Allison Kable, about how the small-town Tasmanian club built itself up over five years to be able to take out the coveted award.
Nutri-Grain IronWoman Series Champion and Athlete of the Year Lana Rogers, had a stellar 2019-20 season, winning the prestigious Coolangatta Gold title that doubled as round one of the series, followed by back-to-back wins in rounds two and three, with her worst result a third in the fifth and final round.
“Yeah it was pretty crazy. I went into the season wanting the Coolangatta Gold title, that’s all I was focussed on, that’s what I was training for,” Lana said.
“I think my coaches obviously had more of an idea what my season was going to look like more than me because I was just focussed on the Coolangatta Gold.
“But it just kept flowing, I trusted the process and I trusted my coaches and it seems to work so I’m going to try and do that this season and fingers crossed see what happens.”
Coolangatta SLSC Life Member Belinda Doman started as a Nipper, with the DHL Volunteer of the Year holding 20 volunteer roles across club, branch and a state levels as well as being a mentor in the inaugural SLSA Women’s Mentoring Program in 2020.
“From quite a young age I guess, I was taking on positions at the club and quite heavily involved in training and youth development right up to a state level,” Belinda said of her journey in surf lifesaving.
“I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for lifesaving I don’t know where I’d be today, I don’t what I’d be doing.
“But I love it, training is what I do and that’s my way of giving back to lifesaving and giving back to our future generations.”
Allison Kable, president of Penguin SLSC, the 2020 DHL Club of the Year, talks us through the club’s rise to be the best Surf Life Saving Club in Australia.
“We were at point back in 2015/16 where we had four patrol groups and some people doubled up to make a fifth, so you were patrolling every weekend,” Allison said.
“At the same time that we were trying to work on building our lifesavers we were also put with a challenge of the clubhouse becoming vacant with the tenants and restaurant leaving, so it was at a point where you had to make that decision on where do you go.
“At that point in time the management committee put together a really extensive strategic plan to focus on a number of areas obviously junior development, training, patrol and the club house itself.
“We identified that we could do everything and put a really solid plan in place and ended up to this point in time where we hired out our facility to community groups and businesses 480 times in a 12 month period … and we just finished the last season with ten patrol teams.”
To find out more about each of these stories make sure to tune into Episode Fifteen of Surf Studio this Wednesday night on the SLSA website and SLSA Facebook page.
That draws a conclusion to our long-form episodes of Surf Studio for 2020. Over the past seven months we have shared members stories over 15 episodes in an effort to provide hope, share information and help the movement stay connected during the difficult times of COVID-19 restrictions.
As Summer approaches and we look to return to the beach, stay tuned for a new-form Surf Studio, bringing you shorter stories from the movement as they come to light.