Kurt Goodwin with Emu Park SLSC deputy president John Phelan as Goodwin was honoured with the title of Official of the Year at the Wide Bay Capricorn awards night.
Kurt Goodwin with Emu Park SLSC deputy president John Phelan as Goodwin was honoured with the title of Official of the Year at the Wide Bay Capricorn awards night. Contributed

Emu Park life saver honoured with title at Wide Bay awards

SURF LIFE SAVING: After four years at Emu Park Surf Life Saving Club, Kurt Goodwin, was honoured as Official of the Year at last Saturday's Wide Bay Capricorn awards night in Hervey Bay.

"It was fantastic,” the junior activities coordinator and life saver said.

"It's always wonderful to be recognised for the work you put into any organisation.”

It's the first time Goodwin has received the award, which recognises a life saver within the region who has made the greatest contribution in officiating carnivals and the development of future officials, who organise and conduct surf sports events.

"I take it rather seriously. I was lucky when I started as a beginner sports official to have had great mentors who supported me,” Goodwin said.

"They helped me develop the knowledge and skill set to do what I was doing, and be part of the organisation and the movement of surf life saving.

"We need officials to mentor our incoming officials so we can ensure quality and safety whenever kids and adults are competing at carnivals.”

Goodwin, who also runs the Nippers program at Emu Park SLSC, said he joined up six years ago when his eldest daughter signed on as a Nipper when they lived in Tannum Sands.

When they made the move to Rockhampton four years ago, Emu Park SLSC was the next step.

"My two daughters are involved in the Nippers program and my wife is also a sports official and we both patrol as active life savers,” Goodwin said.

"Last season I was heavily involved in officiating carnivals. I refereed for the Nipper Northern Branch carnivals and then I was able to secure a position as a sectional referee at both North Aussies and Queensland Youth championships.

"They were both held last season and the seasons run from September through to March or April.”

Goodwin held a number of different roles last season including acting as carnival referee and organiser for three north branch Nippers carnivals, carnival referee for North v South, carnival referee for Branch Junior Championship, course supervisor for Aussies Youth Championships and more.

Some of the roles included starting races, judging finishes and enforcing regulations.

For Goodwin, his involvement in the club benefits his life in more ways than one.

"Just being able to spend time at the beach, teaching children in particular how to be safe in and around the water and also knowing the long term impact we have by potentially creating people who are able to save lives, not just on the beach but at home or in the work places,” he said.

"I think the main thing you get out of (surf life saving) is you get to develop a range of skills and work with other people to make a difference for the community.

"The organisation and the movement itself is full of dedicated volunteers who support the community and the culture comes through.

"The club motto is 'family, fun and participation' and that's what we promote with Nippers. The movement itself is about fit and healthy lifestyles, but also supporting the community.”



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