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Doman from Coolangatta SLSC about the many roles she holds at all levels of the movement and her dedication to training and educating surf lifesavers.

Belinda first joined Coolangatta SLSC as a Nipper and has since gone on to be inducted as the clubs first and only female life member in 2018.

With over 230 lifesaving awards currently under her belt, including her Gold Medallion, Belinda earnt her title as SLSA’s DHL Volunteer of the Year holding a commendable 20 volunteer and leadership roles across club, branch and state levels this season.

“From quite a young age I guess, I was taking on positions at the club and quite heavily involved in training and youth development right up to a state level,” Belinda said of her journey in surf lifesaving.

“There was a member of the club that came and spoke to me at the time and he was like ‘Belinda, there is so much more that you can do; it’s not just about competing.’ He kind of took me under his wing and I guess he’s the reason I’m still in lifesaving today.

“He got me involved in training and assessments, he took me up to Surf Com and got me involved in the radio communications. I also got involved in the jet boats.

“Then I was fortunate enough to start working for surf lifesaving. I got a job with Surf Life Saving NSW and that fuelled my passion a bit more because I felt like I was able to give back to an organisation that had already given me so much.

“I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for lifesaving I don’t know where I’d be today, I don’t what I’d be doing.

“But I love it, training is what I do and that’s my way of giving back to lifesaving and giving back to our future generations.”

As well her numerous other volunteer and leadership positions, this year Belinda took part in the inaugural SLSA Female Mentoring Program as a mentor.

“There were so many people who were so instrumental for me getting to where I am. But I feel like it’s my turn give back,” she said.

“It’s a super rewarding program and anyone that’s considering applying for it next year, I would strongly encourage you, whether you’re a mentor or a mentee, it’s such a valuable experience.

“There’s so many fantastic female role models out there these days in surf clubs, you just need a team behind you because you’re not going to achieve the stuff on your own.”

To hear more from Belinda on her incredible achievements across surf lifesaving that helped name her DHL Volunteer of the Year, make sure to tune into episode fifteen of Surf Studio on the SLSA website and SLSA Facebook page.

That draws a conclusion to our long-form episodes of Surf Studio for 2020. Over the past seven months we have shared members stories over 15 episodes in an effort to provide hope, share information and help the movement stay connected during the difficult times of COVID-19 restrictions.

As Summer approaches and we look to return to the beach, stay tuned for a new-form Surf Studio, bringing you shorter stories from the movement as they come to light.