Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club was victorious at Lifesaving Victoria’s Awards of Excellence, winning both categories it was nominated in: Club Of The Year & Trainer Of The Year. The awards evening was held at The Glasshouse, Olympic Park on Saturday 30th July 2016, and celebrated outstanding contributions and successes made by both individuals and clubs during the 2015/16 season. Twenty-four members from Venus Bay attended the evening to witness 57 Victorian clubs battle it out for the prestigious awards.
Kimberley Gee was awarded Trainer of the Year in what completed an outstanding season that saw award attainment increase by a staggering 194%. In her 9th season as Chief Instructor, Kimberley noticed opportunities for further award training and set about with the aim of having every actively patrolling member gain one new award. 81 members actively patrol and 69 of those achieved 179 awards. Kimberley also wanted to offer training in a greater variety of awards and conducted 16 courses across 10 different awards. This a 69% increase on last year's training.
The final award presented for the evening was The Beaurepaire Shield for Victorian Club of the Year. Thunderous applause sounded as Venus Bay was announced as the recipient for 2016. President Craig Watson, accepted the award and in his acceptance speech highlighted some of the achievements that had attributed to the club’s success. This included:
- 21% increase in patrol attendance
- 24% increase in preventative actions
- 26% increase in club membership
- 194% increase in awards attained and
- 58% increase in the success of our fundraising
- Largest number of nippers in the club’s history
The club will be attending the National Awards of Excellence as Victoria’s representatives for Trainer of the Year and Club of the Year, in Sydney, during October 2016.
Also attending the National Awards of Excellence will be Venus Bay Life Member, David Cumming. David is a National Meritorious Award Recipient, one of the highest accolades a surf lifesaver can achieve in relation to a successfully performed rescue. In December 2015, David happened to be having his lunch at the beach when he noticed four people enter the water and immediately get washed out in a rip. With 35 years experience he immediately went into rescue mode, obtaining a board from the club and heading out into the water. One person managed to get to the beach themselves but three were in severe difficulty. David got all three people to the beach and will be recognised for his bravery and outstanding rescue upon receiving this prestigious meritorious award.