Turning surf kids into our leaders

ELLIOTT Heads lifesavers Connell Crozier, Raquel Llorente and Brandon Harvey will be among 40 lifesavers attending the Pelerman State Youth Excellence Program in Bundaberg from today until Sunday.

Run by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), the leadership camp is tailored to lifesavers aged 14-17 to further develop their involvement and responsibility within the movement.

Bundaberg is well-stocked with up-and-coming talent on the beach and the program is designed to ensure this continues.

This year, two young women from Palm Island – Rae-Rae Clumpoint and Jamika Richardson – have been invited to join the camp alongside the Elliott Heads locals, to learn about lifesaving in a joint initiative with the Palm Island Community Company.

SLSQ membership services manager Brenda Lofthouse said the program provided an opportunity for participants to gain knowledge and development skills in a wide range of surf lifesaving disciplines.

“Traditionally the 14 to 17 years age group is where our membership levels fall off,” she said.

“This camp is about encouraging our young people to stay involved in the movement and to take on leadership roles and responsibilities.

“Our members take a lot of life skills away from the camp and this year we hope to inspire and motivate the Palm Island youth to champion the benefits of surf lifesaving within the community.

“We hope this will be the first step in developing further relationships and potential projects with the island community.”

The three-day camp, held at the Chaverim Outdoor Activities and Environment Centre, features a mixture of fun activities, personal development sessions and seminars outlining the professional development opportunities surf lifesaving offers.

The camp is an integral part of the SLSQ development charter and camp participants can then nominate to attend a national youth leadership and development program.

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