Top award for lifesaver
SWANBOURNE-NEDLANDS SLSC club member and WA Lifesaver of the Year Leesa Equid has found a community and a boyfriend by joining surf lifesaving.
“I joined because my friend brought me down to the club for a social meeting and I was looking for a connection with Perth after having been living overseas,” Dr Equid said.
Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) presented her with the award at its annual Awards of Excellence recently.
Born in Victoria, Dr Equid spent many years in Norway and Scotland while her father worked in the North Sea oil industry, before she moved to Perth to study medicine at the University of WA.
She works at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s emergency department and is her surf club’s patrol captain and first aid officer.
“I met my boyfriend Matt through a patrol captain conference last year,” Dr Equid said.
SLSWA chief executive James O’Toole said Dr Equid had an “incredible drive” to improve public safety at the beach.
Surf lifesavers volunteered for a record 106,000 hours in the 2014-15 surf season, performing 625 rescues, 2252 first aid treatments and intervening 19,992 times to educate swimmers about beach safety.
The Junior Athlete of the Year was Isabella Walker (16), from the City Beachbased City of Perth SLSC, which she joined as a nipper.
Miss Walker won the under-17 rescue tube competition and got a bronze medal with the under-19 surf team at the national surf lifesaving championships this year.
“For me, it’s all about friendly competition and a load of new friends, because they’re a second family to me,” she said.
Athlete of the Year was North Cottesloe’s SLSC’s Tom Nolan, who defended his WA and Australian Beach Flags titles and was second in the Beach Sprint at the World Championships in France in 2014-15.
The J-Crew surf boat members at North Cottesloe SLSC received a Legends of the Surf Award for winning four national titles in 2006-09 and the 2006 World title.
Dr Leesa Equid and Isabella Walker were recognised
with major surf lifesaving awards.