PROUD Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club president Nick Neal says it was satisfying to see a long-term plan bear fruit in the form of a top award.
The club was named Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s Club of the Year at a ceremony at Crown Perth.
It was recognised for its ability to form relationships with local community groups, develop pathways for its members and its tireless work patrolling the Cockburn coastline between Port Coogee and Woodman Point.
Mr Neal said extreme growth after the club’s 2013 move to its current $10 million facility at Poore Grove forced the club to take a step back, laying the foundation for its success today.
The club “broke away from the traditional surf club structure”, creating two new vice-president roles: one for club operations and another for beach operations.
“Over the last few years we’ve had to revisit how we engage volunteers and members of the community. When we moved (from our former headquarters 700 metres north) we grew so quickly,” he said.
“From humble beginnings to now having over 200 lifesavers volunteering their time is tremendous, considering we have only just completed our 15th season.”
Mr Neal said there was some uncertainty at first but changes had paid dividends that he hoped would continue after the recent win.
“Yes we are a young club but we are on the rise,” he said.
“We’ve laid the foundations.”
The club, which held off the Albany Surf Life Saving Club and Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club for the win, scored the Reg Trigg Memorial trophy and $10,000 prize money.
Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club’s men’s beach relay team (1981-1992) was inducted into the Sporting Hall of Fame.