Seaspray life-savers honoured

Amy Fleming, Zac Bloink, Vicki Miller, Sue-Ellen Jackson, Max Castle, Ann Gibbs, Jess Jackson, John Robbins, Amanda Castle, James Robbins, John Clinch and Tom Fleming were presented Certificates of Recognition for significant service over the season. Photos: Contributed

SEASPRAY’S life-savers were recently honoured at the local Surf Life Saving Club’s annual presentation night.

The awards ceremony took place at the organisation’s Club House on July 2.

Club president Chris Fleming said the surf club, like other organisations and businesses, had to overcome rostering issues caused by the pandemic.

“It was a challenging season, particularly when people were suddenly forced into isolation,” Fleming said.

“But we pulled together and supported one another to ensure beachgoers were safe.

“As a club, we are proud of our patrolling members, volunteers and athletes and all that they have achieved over the past season.”

Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club president Chris Fleming speaking at the function.

James Robbins was named Lifesaver of the Year on the evening, who also earned Patrol of the Year as captain of Orca Patrol, alongside Jess Jackson as vice-captain.

Max Castle was awarded the Most Reliable Patrol Person and the Bronze Certificate for performing more than 100 hours on patrol.

Club member and accredited surf life saving official John Clinch was honoured for dedicating 40 years of service to life saving, and club secretary Jeff Robbins was named Volunteer of the Year.

Jett McMahon was named Nipper of the Year, while Milly O’Brien, Hunter Lange and Evie Whitaker were joint winners of the Pauline Muller Nipper Encouragement Award.

Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club life member and long-standing committee member, Barrie Smith OAM presented James Robbins with his trophy as the Lifesaver of the Year for the 2021-2022 season.

The club also presented Certificates of Recognition to John Clinch, Ann Gibbs, Vicki Miller, Ella Ronchi, Zac Bloink, Max and Amanda Castle, John and James Robbins, Amy and Tom Fleming, Jess and Sue-Ellen Jackson for significant service over the season.

The club acknowledged the achievements of Courtney McDonough, who completed her Silver Medallion Beach Management and Gold Medallion Advanced Life Saver, and became the club’s first member to become a gold awardee for the Youth Involvement Program.

Bronze Medallions were presented to Hannah Abdalla, Max Castle, Ash Centra, Emma Feltis, Summa Fleming, Zali Gallagher, Chloe Mcinnes, Jack Peavey, Anabella Taylor, Lola Wilson and Ella Wisely.

Milly O’Brien was one of three Nippers awarded the Pauline Muller Nipper Encouragement Award.

For the first time, the club also ran a Bronze Medallion course for adults. Tim Morrison, Brad Morrison, Jeff Robbins, Ann Gibbs, Ashleigh Brown, Ben Langshaw, Vicki Miller, Glenn Canfield and Michael Whitaker were awarded their bronze.

Finn Wilson, Jett McMahon, Mack McMahon, James Arnup, Tara Dihood, Dean Feltis, Charlie Price-Wigg, and Scarlet Tavasci were recognised for completing the Surf Rescue Certificate.

Nipper Matt Canfield was presented with a competition jacket after competing in his first carnivals outside Gippsland, while Zali Gallagher was congratulated for her selection for Life Saving Victoria’s Winter Development Program.

The presentation night was also an opportunity to acknowledge the club’s competitors in beach and water sports and their achievements over the past season.

Bronze Medallion recipients Ann Gibbs, Jeff Robbins, Vicki Miller, Glenn Canfield, Ashleigh Brown and Brad Morrison.

Leo Stephenson, Jett and Mack McMahon, Max McLay, Jimmy Greenwood, Lily and Matt Canfield, Kye Fleming represented Seaspray as Nippers or youth athletes. Max McLay became a state medalist after he won gold in the Under 12 Beach Relay and bronze in the Under 12 Board Relay at the Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships.

At the Masters Victorian Lifesaving Championships in Lorne, the Women’s Boat Crew comprising Sally Black, Emma Lazzaro, Pip Lee, Kristine Gilbert and sweep Stuart Mawley won gold, as did Ben Greenwood and Neil Lazzaro in the Men’s Double Ski.

Bridget Brown won silver in the Under 19 Beach Sprint and, together with Jess Jackson, won bronze in the Open Women’s Beach Relay at the state titles. The Open Women’s Boat Crew – Linley Bertacchini, Sally Black, Emma Lazzaro, Kristine Gilbert and sweep Stuart Mawley – were also bronze medallists at the same event.

Life member and Director of Programs and Development, Sue-Ellen Jackson with John Clinch, who was honoured for his 40 years of service to life saving.

Success at the state titles were just part of an outstanding season for Jess and Bridget. At the national titles, known as The Aussies, Jess came equal ninth in the Open Women’s Beach Flags, while Bridget reached the quarter finals of the Under 19 Beach Flags and the top 20 in the Open Women’s event.

Both women were chosen to participate in Life Saving Victoria’s Sporting Excellence Program, while Jess was also selected to compete for Victoria at Super Surf Teams League at Bondi.

Jess was also nominated as an emerging leader as part of Life Saving Victoria’s International Women’s Day celebrations honouring outstanding women in lifesaving. Vicki Miller was nominated as a senior leader.