87 young surf lifesavers from across the state recently converged on Lake Moogerah in South East Queensland for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Breaka Youth Excellence Program across the Australia Day long weekend.
Each year the three-day program seeks to bring together some of Queensland’s best and brightest junior surf lifesavers, aged 15-17, with the aim to develop and harness their involvement, leadership and responsibility within the movement.
SLSQ membership development manager Brenda Lofthouse said it had been a great opportunity to engage with younger members from all over Queensland.
“These young lifesavers were invited to attend on the back of their dedication and enthusiasm for surf lifesaving and beach safety. Across the weekend, we worked hard to build on that passion and develop some core leadership skills they’ll be able to apply to all areas of their lives,” she said.
The program featured a wide range of fun activities and sessions, which focused on the professional and personal development opportunities available to younger members within the surf lifesaving movement.
Ms Lofthouse said it was a great opportunity for the young participants to gain further knowledge and development in all facets of surf lifesaving disciplines.
“Traditionally speaking, the 15-17 years age group is generally where we begin to see a drop-off in membership as competing interests and commitments begin to take their toll,” she said.
“The weekend was a great opportunity for some of our junior members from all over Queensland to link up and meet each other, have fun, learn from experienced lifesavers and develop key skills that will hopefully keep them involved in the movement and encourage them to pursue leadership opportunities within surf lifesaving.
“These members are leaders within their clubs and represent the future of surf lifesaving in Queensland, and each year the Breaka Youth Excellence Program is a wonderful opportunity to keep them engaged and hopefully involved in the movement for many years to come,” she said.
Ms Lofthouse said the program places a strong emphasis on empowering younger members of the surf lifesaving movement.
“A lot of members who have gone through the program return each year as mentors, leaders and program coordinators,” Ms Lofthouse said.
To view photos from the weekend, please visit www.facebook.com/SurfLifeSavingQueensland