Alongside lifesaving, volunteer Isabel Huntington worked her way through the football ranks from Auskick to playing with the boys football teams at East Sandringham and South Melbourne junior football clubs, before moving into the women’s football arena at Melbourne University women’s football club after she turned 14 and could no longer play with the boys.
Representing Victorian Metro for several years led to Isabel’s selection in the AFLW draft to the Western Bulldogs in October and she is all set for the AFLW Round 1 in February. She also finds time to volunteer with her beloved Fairhaven SLSC. Here’s how lifesaving helped shape her AFLW dreams:
Volunteer Role: Lifesaver, Bronze Instructor
Current Club: Fairhaven SLSC
How long have you been involved in lifesaving? Since 2007, age 8
What made you become involved in lifesaving?
My family began travelling down to Fairhaven during the Summer break every year from 2007 and my brothers and I were enrolled into Nippers. The friendships formed, active lifestyle and sense of community were the major factors in continuing through the lifesaving pathway for me.
What are some of your responsibilities at your club?
I’ve been involved in Bronze instructing for two seasons now, after obtaining my Silver Medallion in 2015, and also help out with Nipper activities during the season, including surf coaching.
What do you most enjoy about lifesaving?
Both the social and community aspects of lifesaving are what make it so enjoyable for me. Surf Clubs foster a sense of inclusivity and allow you to meet a diverse range of people with the common interest of helping others and keeping active.
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering?
For me, being involved in instructing has allowed me to encourage others to become or stay involved in lifesaving, which has been an incredibly valuable experience. The rewarding nature of lifesaving and volunteering makes encouraging involvement much easier, as many are eager to get involved.
What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far?
Whilst obtaining my Bronze Medallion was undoubtedly extremely rewarding and exciting, my numerous years competing at Junior Life Saving State Carnivals provide the greatest memories for me, including winning several medals with my Fairhaven teammates.
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy?
At the moment, it’s playing football with the Western Bulldogs AFLW Team that’s occupying the majority of my time, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I’ve also just completed my VCE and intend on heading to University in 2018 to study science and then medicine.