A group of young lifesavers recently returned from Sri Lanka as part of LSV’s 2017 Building Leaders Scholarship (BLS), a program designed to develop the next generation of young leaders from within club membership and the aquatic community.
“We wanted to engage and empower youth by providing meaningful leadership development, specialised training and the opportunity to access advanced skills and knowledge under the guidance of mentors from lifesaving, business and the community,” says LSV’s Membership & Leadership Development Coordinator, Shelley Snow.
As part of the weekend-run, six-month program is a ten-day trip to Sri Lanka, where scholars Jessamy Blair (Woodside Beach LSC), Elise Foot-Connolly (Mordialloc LSC), Larnie Hewat (Lorne SLSC), Mohammad Karimi (Edithvale LSC), Emma Pendlebury (Mitchell Shire Leisure Services), Ellen Porter (Lorne LSC), Samuel Slykuis (Half Moon Bay LSC and Lorne SLSC) and Melissa Watson (YMCA) were exposed to international lifesaving practises and training, as well as unique cultural experiences.
Scholars in this year’s BLS program were under the guidance of LSV trainer Sheila Langley and BLS past participant, now mentor, Liam O’Callaghan, who guided the scholars to deliver two training streams – a Junior Life Saver for Women program, which was a unique opportunity offered to 30 females from the Sri Lankan Air Force, Special Forces Navy, Army, Police and swimming clubs, and a second stream, which involved 2-day intensive Inflatable Rescue Boat Driver workshops delivered to 50 participants from Sri Lanka Life Saving, Coast Guard, Special Forces Navy, Police and various aquatic clubs.
Of the experience, Fairhaven SLSC lifesaver and mentor Liam O’Callaghan said: “We’re so lucky here in Australia because we have over 100 years of lifesaving background and we can use all that knowledge to assist developing countries.”
“The skills I’ve learned in the program are transferable across everything,” says Liam. “Composure, different thought processes and an eagerness to learn as you go – it’s all really beneficial.”
Since 2012, LSV’s BLS program has been developing advanced leadership skills of lifesaving members by incorporating professional and personal development, teamwork and teambuilding, communication, leadership and behaviour style profiling, value proposition/time management, cultural awareness training and technical training. It was the sixth consecutive year the BLS program has been to Sri Lanka.
Watch a video from the Building Leaders Scholarship 2017 trip here: