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Finalists announced for Breaka Junior Lifesaver of the Year award

Congratulations to our six regional finalists in the 2015 Breaka U14 Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year award.

The winner will be announced on Saturday 21 March at the SLSQ Youth Championships at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, but in the meantime, let us introduce you to the cream of the Nippers crop!

North Queensland – Harriet Grant, Cairns SLSC

Harriet has been involved in surf lifesaving since 2007, but her main goal over the past few years has been to qualify for her Surf Rescue Certificate so she can join her mum on beach patrols. She’s now achieved that and has been quite active with patrols this summer to help watch over and protect beachgoers. This season Harriet was selected as the Junior Club Captain at Cairns, and regularly goes out of her way to help out younger members and provide water safety for their nipper training sessions.

Outside of her patrols, Harriet has also achieved considerable success in the sporting arena and has previously been selected as a member of the North Queensland Branch Youth Championship Team and a reserve on the Queensland Country Team. She won the Under-14 Champion Lifesaver Event at the North Australian Championships.

North Barrier – Joachim Born, Mackay SLSC

Joachim joined Mackay SLSC as a nipper when he was five years old and he’s already developed into an extremely valuable and well-respected member, which is evident by the fact that his peers voted him the Male Junior Club Captain for 2014/15. His sisters and family are also members at Mackay and surf lifesaving has always been a huge part of his life. Since obtaining his Surf Rescue Certificate in the September school holidays Joachim has been actively patrolling his local beach to watch over and protect swimmers.

In addition to his beach patrols, Joachim regularly gives up his time on weekends to help the club out with water safety, community awareness activities and fundraising. Joachim is also a keen surf sports competitor and, in the past, has represented his club at a variety of events including the North Barrier Branch Championships, North Australian Championships and the Oceans 38 carnival.

Wide Bay Capricorn – Jordan Winning, Elliott Heads SLSC

Jordan joined Elliott Heads SLSC in 2010 and, despite his young age, has already gone on to become a valuable and very well respected member. This season Jordan has successfully completed his Surf Rescue Certificate and Radio Operator Certificate and, since then, has been quite active with patrols to help watch over and protect beachgoers. He’s already volunteered more than 35 hours this summer and also gave up his Christmas Day to help patrol and keep the beaches safe as well.

In addition to his beach patrols, Jordan regularly gives up his time on weekends to help out with water safety and setting up for nipper training. Jordan has also achieved considerable success in the sporting arena and is a keen competitor in the ironman, surf race and board rescue events. Away from the beach he’s also actively involved in promoting the surf club through community awareness events and fundraising initiatives.

Sunshine Coast – Harry Graham, Redcliffe Peninsula SLSC

Just weeks after moving to Australia from the UK, Harry Graham joined his local surf life saving club and, now, his passion and enthusiasm for beach safety has seen the Redcliffe nipper named the Sunshine Coast finalist for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) prestigious Breaka Under-14 Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year award. The fact that he was voted as the Male Nipper Club Captain for 2014/15 shows the level of respect he already holds in the club.

What stood out right across the nomination process was Harry’s enthusiasm and dedication at all levels – he’s extremely passionate about his surf club and the surf lifesaving movement as a whole, and he’s always willing to put his hand up to give back and help out whenever he can. Harry qualified for his Surf Rescue Certificate at the start of the season and, since then, he’s already volunteered more than 60 hours to help patrol his local beach which is a fantastic effort. Outside of this he also regularly puts his hand up to help out with training the club’s younger nippers in the under-8 age category.

South Coast – Ky Curtis, North Burleigh SLSC

Ky originally joined surf lifesaving in Townsville as a “Green Cap” in 2005, but is now the Junior Vice Club Captain at North Burleigh SLSC. Though initially terrified of the Gold Coast’s big waves following his move from North Queensland, after years of training and encouragement Ky overcame his fear and now undertakes beach patrols after completing his Surf Rescue Certificate, and says it’s now hard to get him out of the ocean.

Outside of his patrol activities, Ky’s also a keen surf sports competitor and his passion for surf lifesaving shines through in everything that he does. Last year, while in the middle of a race, Ky noticed a fellow competitor in distress who had been flipped over by a wave and separated from his board. Without hesitating Ky stopped racing, paddled over to the youngster and assisted him safely back to his board before continuing on with the competition.

Point Danger – Sophie Clemson, North Kirra SLSC

Sophie joined North Kirra as a Flipper in 2007, and has been an integral member of the club’s community ever since. Sophie has completed all possible surf lifesaving awards for her age and, since obtaining her Surf Rescue Certificate and commencing patrols just three months ago, she has already completed 59 patrol hours to help protect beachgoers.

Away from the beach, Sophie has a keen interest in surf sports and is also an active fundraiser for the club. The sheer amount of volunteering time shows a huge level of commitment on her part, and Sophie now wishes to complete every award available to her as soon as meets the minimum age. One of her ultimate goals is to become a Patrol Captain and oversee her own patrol – and possibly even be in charge of her two older brothers, mum and dad who also patrol with her!

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