Surf Lifesavers excited for ‘Royal’ visit

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Young Surf Lifesavers from Sydney’s northern beaches are looking forward to demonstrating their skills before a very special audience when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Manly Beach on Friday 18 April.

The Royal couple will watch our future Surf Lifesavers showcase a range of activities in a competitive, yet friendly ‘surf carnival’ scenario.

Manly, North Steyne and Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Clubs will be providing around 100 competitors in the Under 12 to Under 15 age groups, who will demonstrate their skills in several Surf Life Saving disciplines including surf swimming, board paddling and beach flags competition.

Taking a key role in the event will be Champion Ironwoman and Olympic Kayaker Naomi Flood from Manly and Champion Lifesaver Shannon Job from North Steyne SLSC. The pair will help greet the Royals and provide them with a running commentary throughout the demonstration.

In addition to the competitors taking part, the three clubs are also providing support in the form of water safety and crowd maintenance. Many more senior lifesavers from the clubs will be volunteering to ensure the demonstration runs smoothly and efficiently.

All three clubs are excited about the visit, however the method of determining which of their young lifesavers take part in the event differs.

Queenscliff SLSC, where the Prime Minister Tony Abbott is an active member, has chosen competitors on the basis of their results at the club’s Championships, or their level of participation during the season. The lifesavers who will be featured on the beach in full patrol uniform are the club’s senior instructors and trainers.

North Steyne SLSC has asked Age Managers to nominate those youngsters who have contributed significantly during the season, while the Manly club has preferred to draw names randomly from a hat.

Manly LSC President Mark Epper says this gives all the kids an equal opportunity to participate.

“We’d prefer to give everyone the same chance to be involved, rather than just choosing our best competitors,” he explained.

Surf Life Saving NSW President Tony Haven says the visit to Manly by the Royals is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Australian Surf Life Saving to the world.

“Surf Lifesavers are already internationally-recognised Australian icons, however this takes our exposure to a whole new level,” he said. A viewing audience of up to 160 million people world-wide has been estimated.

“It’s great that our young lifesavers will be in the spotlight this time, demonstrating how the skills they are learning now, equip them to protect the public and save lives on our beaches in future.”

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