Arcadian Surf Life Saving Club was named the Junior and Youth Development Club of the Year for Queensland at Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Awards of Excellence, held in Brisbane over the weekend.
The Townsville and Magnetic Island based surf club was recognised for their outstanding achievements and contributions in fostering a thriving community of Junior and Youth (teen) members, with a dedication to inclusivity, skill development, and a strong emphasis on family involvement. Particularly noteworthy is the Club’s astounding 177% increase in Youth member numbers within the 15 – 18 years age group, defying state trends and showcasing the club’s capacity to engage older teen members effectively.
Linda Murray, Arcadian Youth Development Officer, commented on the win, “At a time where Youth are in the news for all the wrong reasons it’s so wonderful to have our club recognised and celebrated for creating an inclusive and engaging culture that encourages teenagers to develop as lifesavers and all that encompasses. It’s a huge honour to receive this award but honestly I just feel so privileged to spend my time with these young people. They are determined, strong, smart, know how to save a life and are so funny!”
Arcadian Youth member, Matilda Stone, also received the prestigious U18 Junior Lifesaver of the Year Award for her remarkable dedication to her club, community and Branch. The SLSQ Award panellists recognised Matilda’s commitment to and passion for all areas of lifesaving, including surf sports, leadership and extracurricular activities. Testament to Matilda’s leadership qualities is her appointment as Arcadian’s Youth Liaison Officer, a role she made an immediate impact in by increasing Youth member numbers threefold, all of whom have gone on to acquire their Bronze Medallion and become active volunteer lifesavers. Over the past season Matilda has also become a probationary trainer, surf sports coach, Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Driver and continued as an active volunteer lifesaver, all while completing Year 12 this year.
“Matilda is an incredible role model for our younger members” says Linda. “She has so much passion for the sport and lifesaving movement and demonstrates leadership and commitment to our club as well as support to her peers. We are so proud of her achievements.”