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Nicholas Johnston named number one

WOOLGOOLGA'S Nicholas Johnston is walking on air at the moment after being named as the male Junior Lifesaver of the Year.

The announcement was made during the weekend's NSW Surf Life Saving Championships at Swansea/Belmont.

The prestigious award recognises and rewards outstanding younger members of the surf lifesaving movement; those who show an advanced level of maturity and leadership potential.

This year's winners were chosen following a lengthy and difficult selection process, from a field of 20 State finalists.

Woolgoolga's Nicholas Johnston received today's honour for his encouragement of younger members of the club and for his attempts to attract new members. For the 14-year-old, encouraging others to have confidence in the water sums up what it means to be a good lifesaver. He has always enjoyed competing for his club and obtained his Surf Rescue Certificate recently on the first attempt.

“Not only have I gained confidence and skills but I've made lifelong friendships through surf lifesaving,” Nicholas said.

Nicholas aims to further his surf lifesaving qualifications over time and has a longer term ambition to fly with the Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service.

The selection panel for the award were very impressed with the youngster's ideas on encouraging participation and retention of club members beyond the age of 14 and his suggestions for a focus on teamwork rather than individual performance.