August Newsletter

Summer is just around the corner and on September 24 Patrols start up again.  Now is the time to renew your membership, Choose Your Patrol, think about which award you will do this year and get back in the water to lose that winter padding.  It has been a busy “off season”, with the AGM, State Awards of Excellence, State Surfing titles, IRB courses and gear inspection just a few of the things happening around the Club in the past month.  And of course our Pinkies and Antiques boat crews are about to head off on their campaign for the World Surf Life Saving titles in the Netherlands – best of luck, show them how its done!  Read on for more details on all of the above.
Membership renewal for the 2016/17 season is now open.  So far only 15% of current members have renewed…come on everyone!  If you have a members portal account it only takes a minute.  Membership rates remain the same as last year, with the exception of our Under 15 to Under 18 year old members, who are now free (these age groups must still complete the membership renewal or registration process). There will also be no competition levies in the 2016/17 season for senior club members.  Senior club membership fees will increase by $50 after 30 September, so make sure you renew your membership early.

If you are having trouble registering there will be Registration Days on 3rd and 4th September at the Club.  Please bring both a credit card and a mobile phone so that you can pay your registration and receive your password via text message.

If you are renewing a family it is easiest to link your family members in a family group beforerenewing.  You can then renew all members in one click.  There are instructions on how to create a family group here.

Step by step instructions on how to renew your membership are on our website here.  Instructions for new members are here.  A Membership Renewal Form must be (electronically) signed by all members. Membership fees must be paid at the time of submitting your renewal form.  Refer to our Membership Fees page on our website for information on current fees.  Only Financial members (those members who have electronically signed their Membership Renewal Form AND paid their Membership fees) are covered by SLSNSW Insurance and iCare (formerly WorkCover) and are also entitled to member benefits.

Nippers membership renewal and registration for the 2016/17 is now open . Membership rates remain the same as last year.  Membership fees will increase by $50 after 16th September however, so make sure you renew your membership early.  Nipper proficiency swims will be held on 17th September, but you must be registered and financial to complete your swim on this day.

If you are renewing a family it is easiest to link your family members in a family group beforerenewing.  You can then renew all members in one click.  There are instructions on how to create a family group here.

Step by step instructions on how to renew your membership and register new Nippers, including information on membership fees, are on our website here.  A Membership Renewal Form must be (electronically) signed by all members.  Membership fees must be paid at the time of submitting your renewal or registration form.

Registrations support days will be held at the following times at the Club.

Saturday 3 September – 9am – 4pm
Sunday 4 September – 9am – 4pm
Friday 9 September – 5pm – 6.30pm
Sunday 11 September – 3pm – 4.30pm
Friday 16 September – 5pm – 6.30pm

If you are a new member attending a registration support session, please bring photo identification for all family members wishing to join the Club.  Please bring both a credit cardand a mobile phone so that you can pay your registration and receive your password via text message.

An information session for parents of Under 6 Nippers will be held on Sunday 11th September at 3:00pm.

At the club’s Annual General Meeting held on 31st July, all current office bearers were re elected to their positions, reflecting a high degree of confidence by members in their abilities.  The meeting was well attended in the Avalon Beach SLSC Club Room.

Last year no lives were lost, there were 80 rescues, 453 preventative actions and 102 first aid cases.  A record 53 new lifesavers received their Bronze Medallion thanks to the dedication of the club’s experienced trainers.

Awards for service to surf lifesaving were presented to a number of long serving volunteers including life member Peter Akehurst who received his 40 year service award, Warren Young who received his 30 year award and Troy Fogwell who received his 20 year award.  Louise Lindop was presented with the Steve Parkes Award for Achievement in Lifesaving Education.

The Hon Bronwyn Bishop patron of the club applauded the club’s efforts saying its members embodied the very essence of what being an Australian means by providing volunteer lifesaving services to save the life of someone they don’t know.

State Member for Pittwater the Hon Rob Stokes thanked members and said that without surf clubs volunteers, the government, whether state or local, simply could not afford to provide the same level of service to the community.

Darren Warrener SLS Sydney Northern Beaches congratulated the club on successfully running the branch championships and the branch’s boardriding titles jointly managed with North Avalon Surfers Association.

Two special resolutions were successful, adopting a new constitution and changing the name of the Club.

There is only one week left to CHOOSE YOUR PATROL. The questionnaire must be completed by Sunday 4th September if you would like to take part in the patrol selection process. If you haven’t received an email you can complete the survey here. Core Patrol Teams comprising of a Patrol Captain, Vice Captain, IRB Driver, IRB Crew and ART qualified member have been selected and rostered with their patrol dates. This information is shown in the questionnaire.
You have three preferences to choose your patrol.
If you are assigned to a Core Patrol Team and would like to change patrols, complete the patrol selection process. Your patrol will be changed if your position can be exchanged with a member holding an equivalent qualification.
Patrol positions will be allocated as submissions are received, so be quick. If you want to be on a patrol with friends, arrange with them to submit the same preferences.
Active members who do not submit a preference will be rostered as required. We will make every attempt to accommodate your preferences, however we cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to one of your preferences.
Active members are expected to attend all of their rostered patrols. If you cannot make your patrol date, you must arrange a substitute and let your Patrol Captain know.
If you intend to undertake Nippers water safety, please complete the survey and select the option for Nippers Water Safety Patrol.
This season active members can elect to undertake Nippers Water Safety.  In order to complete water activities, Nippers require one qualified (SRC or Bronze medallion holder) and proficient water safety member for every five Nippers in the water.  If you would like to help in this area you can choose the Nippers Water Safety Patrol option in the CHOOSE YOUR PATROL survey.  To maintain your active member status and benefits you must log your hours in the water safety log book in the patrol room and complete at least 20 hours service.
Northern Beaches Council (NBC) Beach Parking Permits are available for Active Patrolling Members.

Free permits are available to members who are active patrol members (not office bearers who are not actively on the sand patrolling), and don’t already get a permit from another source, e.g. another club association or as a ratepayer anywhere on the Northern Beaches.

Please note that NBC will cross reference all applicants with rate payer information.  Please do not apply if you are a rate payer and already receive Beach Parking Permits from NBC.
To apply email your full name and full home address to [email protected] before 31 August 2016.

NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence…and the 2016 winner is the Avalon Beach SLSC Youth Program.
Across the movement, retaining teenage members after they finish Nippers has been a big problem, but Avalon Beach’s innovative approach could very well prove to be a blueprint for the future.
The Avalon Beach SLSC Youth Program is coordinated by Junior Club Captain Mike Stanley-Jones, and supported by a dedicated group of age managers including Jeff Nesbitt, Richard Cole, Volker Klemm, Janelle Amet, Alan Mahn, Ian and Kate McGilchrist, and Brian Weatherill.
The approach is to promote fun in both surf-related and recreational activities, helping teens forge friendships and encourage them to remain involved in Surf Life Saving.
During the season the Under 15, 16 and 17 groups spent a weekend at Garie Beach, camping in the clubhouse and providing patrol support for the club. Sixty members of the group also provided water safety at Wet ‘n’ Wild Nippers demonstrating their commitment to spreading the message of surf safety beyond just the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Just some of the other activities in our youth program are:
•    Surf Safaris
•    Camping
•    Dirt bike riding
•    Canyoning
•    Skirmish
•    Laser tag
•    Stand Up Paddle Boarding
•    Go karting
•    Gym and weights training
•    Movie nights
•    High Ropes Course
•    Sleepovers at the Club
•    Sailing
•    Yoga
•    Surf Boat rowing
•    Boxing
•    Rock climbing
•    Mystery Adventure Challenges
•    Advanced driver course
•    Barista course
•    Boat License training

This initiative has been incredibly successful. The club’s youth retention went from just 22 members in 2013 to 97 last season, with many of these enthusiastic young members set to provide the backbone of the club in future years.  You can find out more here.

Congratulations to our newest IRB Crew members who passed their assessment this month. Thank you to Alan Moran, Todd Barber, Terry Barber, Jason Dale, Pete Carter, Peter Akehurst, Richard Cole, Nick Sampson, Matt Mayall and all the other IRB drivers, trainers and assessors who helped put eight more crew through their course. Great to see some of our younger members adding to their qualifications and skills.  We really need more IRB Crew and Drivers so if you are keen to get this award please contact our IRB Captain Alan Moran.
Congratulations to our newest Bronze medallion holders.  Under the instruction of Jeff Nesbitt and many of our wonderful trainers, their awards were for some the culmination of 11 years of Nippers.  The awards were presented by Bronwyn Bishop and Rob Stokes following the AGM.  We look forward to seeing you on patrol and demonstrating your new skills this year.
Are you or do you know a budding musician or band who would like to be part of our live music program on Sunday afternoons at the bar this season?  Gigs are paid and its a great chance to showcase your talent in front of an enthusiastic local audience.  Please email your details to me asap here.
Interested in getting your Bronze Medallion or expanding your life saving skills? In the past couple of months I have completed my Advanced Resuscitation and Basic Beach Management awards – they were very professionally taught, enjoyable and took up very little time. If every active member added just one award each year, think how much the rescue capabilities and skill set of our entire club would benefit.
Upcoming Courses are:

Bronze Medallion Information Session:
Sunday 9 October, 11:00am. ABSLSC Club Lounge (upstairs)

Provide First Aid:
Two course are scheduled to run at our club as follows:
Wednesday the 12th October 6.00pm to 9.30pm and Wednesday the 19th of October 6.00pm to 9.30pm
Monday 17th of October 6.00pm to 9.30pm and Monday the 24th of October 6.00pm to 9.30pm.

Silver Medallion Beach Management
Course, Duration 1 day
Sunday 28 August 9:00am-5:00pm Venue TBA
Saturday 17 September 9:00am-5:00pm Venue TBA
Sunday 16 October 9:00am – 5:00pm Dee Why SLSC
Saturday 12 November 9:00am – 5:00pm Venue TBA

Skills Maintenance (Proficiency) – Bronze and ARTC
Duration 2 hours:
Monday 19th September 7pm-9pm
Sunday 25th September 2pm-4pm
Weds 28th September 6.30pm-8.30pm
Weds 5th October 7pm-9pm
Sunday 16th October 2pm-4pm

Bronze Medallion Wet Skills Maintenance (Proficiency) dates TBA.

Bookings/enquiries:[email protected]

The whole Club wishes the best of luck to the “Pinkies” and the “Antiques” boat crews who are off to compete in the Worlds Surf Life Saving Championships in the Netherlands in September.  The Antiques will be defending their title and the Pinkies looking to add the ultimate achievement to their already impressive record.  Good luck and do us proud!
The Lion Island Challenge is on 8th October this year and preparations are in full flight.  This event run by Avalon Beach SLSC is in it’s 11th year and has garnered an international reputation.  With a short and long course around Lion Island and events for skis, racing mals, boards and SUPs, there is something for everyone.  Please let your friends know it’s on.  We will need all the volunteers we can muster to help on the day, so pencil in the date now.
Have you recently achieved a bronze medallion or award but couldn’t make it to presentation night?  We have a box of them in the office awaiting collection.  Please drop by and pick them up.
Thank you everyone who helped with gear inspection this year.  It went very successfully and there were a few new faces which was much appreciated..
Help send our Under 15 Age group to New Zealand in January.  The last comedy night was a cracker so don’t miss this one on 17th September.  You can book tickets here.  Please note that this is an adults only event.
If you intend to compete in Surf Sports this season, don’t forget that under SLSA policy (No. 5.4 if you are wondering) you must:

  • Be registered and financial (paid your membership)
  • Hold the appropriate award (generally Bronze or SRC)
  • Be proficient in that award
  • Have met your patrol requirements (25 hours for active members and 12 hours for reserve active)
  • Have met any other specific competition qualification requirements (ie IRB, boat sweep)

Competition hours include rostered patrols, substitute patrols, make up patrols, voluntary patrols, duty officers and water safety for Junior Activities.

Pool Proficiency Assessment – Saturday 17 September
All Nippers U8 and above need to complete a water proficiency assessment before we can let them take part in water activities at either Sunday Nippers or training events. Please find details for this years assessment:
When: Saturday 17 September
Where: Central Swim – 32 Central Road Avalon
Distance: U8s – 25 metres, U9-U14s – 200m, Under 6s and Under 7s are not required to complete a water proficiency assessment
Cost: $2.00 per nipper
Bring: Warm clothing & towel, swim goggles and cap (compulsory)
Be Prepared: Have breakfast before you arrive, wear sunblock and please don’t bring the dog
U14s – 12.00-12.30
U13s – 12.30-13.00
U12s – 13.00-13.30
U11s – 13.30-14.00
U10s – 14.00-14.30
U9s – 14.45-15.15
U8s – 15.15-16.00
Avalon’s surfers achieved our best ever results with 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals at the recent NSW Surfing titles at Soldiers Beach.It was a great weekend away, with Soldiers Beach providing an almost perfect location. Congratulations to all our surfers. Thanks to Dave Roberts for the following report.

Avalon were represented by 2 surfers – Moana Roberts (40-49) and Brent Williams (50-59) in both the long board and short board competitions.

Brent opened the day with conditions almost flat, which made the longboard a hit and miss affair. Not many waves due to high tide, but Brent managed to find 1 and enjoyed his heat. Moana was much more fortunate as her heat and final was held during low tide. Some very nice 2 foot waves rolled in during the 30min final, and Moana landed 3 beauties – which resulted in a well deserved silver medal.  Off to the short board heats and finals and again some nice 1-2 foot waves rolled in during mid tide. Moana again surfed well and had excellent wave selection, scoring the 2 highest scores and winning Avalon first state gold medal for womens surfing – the cheer squad was very excited! By the time Brent had his shortboard the waves again had almost disappeared – frustrating but that’s surfing!

Avalon’s Youth Surfing Team of 13-15 years was the largest of all clubs attending the the state surfing titles.  All surfers happily embraced the challenge of the very small but surf-able conditions with a great positive attitude and most importantly were there to watch and support each others heats throughout the day doing themselves and their club proud.

A mix bag of results in the tricky conditions for the girls. Both Blaze and Hunter Roberts were unlucky to get the right  to waves in the their heats but put in a great effort to both finish equal 5th in the 15’s and 13’s respectively.Tia Collins keenly hunted out the waves and surfed strongly to make the 13’s final and gain a very popular and well deserved Bronze – congratulations Tia!!!!

14 Boys
Our 14 Boys of Sam Partington and Henri Hole threw everything they had trying to get those elusive waves that had enough power so they could show the judges what manoeuvres they can perform however they struggled to steal those waves from their fellow competitors and gallantly both placed 3rd in their heats for equal 9th places overall. Both boys hung out for the day being champion sand dune surfers and cheer squad supporters of their team – good one boys.

13 Boys
The Whiteman twins of Arch and Van got right amongst the competition and surfed extremely well for what waves were on offer with both winning their heats, quarter and semi finals however they struggled to get the “magic” waves in the dying surf conditions of the final. Arch after putting on a dominate display all day finished with the Silver with Van taking out Bronze – well done boys!!!!

The inaugural Life Members and Long Service Lunch was held prior to the AGM on 31st July in the Club bar.  Thirty of our most experienced members enjoyed getting together and catching up on a bit of Club history as well as celebrating the presentation of Long Service Awards including Michael Byrnes OAM who received his 60 year award.  The Club simply would not be in it’s current state without the collective legacy of the members within the room that day.  We look forward to making it an annual event.
Michael completed his bronze medallion in December 1953 and last year was awarded is sixty year long service award.  He currently heads our Life Membership and Long Service Awards Committee, responsible for the identification and approval of long service and life membership nominations.  He was a committee member and branch delegate for many years.  He is a life member of Avalon Beach SLSC, awarded in 1986, and also a life member of SLSSNB, SLSNSW and Surf Life Saving Australia. Over his many, many years of service he has been an assessor, examiner and official.  In 2011 he received a 50+ Years of Officiating Service award from Branch.  Between 1972 an 1977 he was Deputy Superintendent of Branch.  In 1999 Michael was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Surf Lifesaving.  People like Michael are the bedrock upon which the current surf lifesaving movement are built.  We are very fortunate to have had Michael in our Club for so long, and he is still contributing and making a difference.
19 Sep: Dry Proficiency 7:00pm
24 Sep: Patrols start
25 Sep: Dry Proficiency 2:00pm
28 Sep: Dry Proficiency 6:30pm
30 Sep: Earlybird  membership fees finish
5 Oct: Dry Proficiency 7:00pm
8 October: Lion Island Challenge
9 Oct: Bronze Medallion Information Session 11:00am
16 Oct: Dry Proficiency 2:00pm
1 August: Registration Opens
3 Sep: Registration Assistance 9:00am-4:00pm
4 Sep: Registration Assistance 9:00am-4:00pm
9 Sep: Registration Assistance 5:00pm-6:30pm
11 Sep: 3pm U/6 Nipper Information Session
11 Sep: Registration Assistance 3:00pm-4:30pm
16 Sep: Registration Assistance 5:00pm-6:30pm
16 Sep: Earlybird fees finish
17 Sep: Proficiency Swims
16 Oct: Nippers Starts