Will Slator is a volunteer lifesaver at Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC), where he is a Bronze Medallion holder and Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Crewman. Will recently took part in the inaugural Life Saving Victoria Youth Symposium. Read Will’s lifesaving story below:
New Bronze Medallion holder, IRB Crewman.
Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC).
How long have you been involved in lifesaving?
What made you become involved in lifesaving?
I got involved in Lifesaving through my school, Koo Wee Rup Secondary College (KWRSC). The school runs a class called “Advance,” the class in which Bronze camp is taught to students. Previously, KWRSC ran its camp at Cape Paterson. But last year, Woolamai’s Director of Life Saving Services, who is a teacher at my school, took us to his club. So we got a “Bronze Camp” running at Woolamai. I was a part of the first group from Koo Wee Rup Secondary College to become a member of Woolamai Beach SLSC.
What are some of the activities you have been involved with at your club?
In my first season, I have done 100+ hours of patrol, helped out at events the club runs, such as the Channel Challenge and the Cowes Classic, helped at nippers, helped train a man with Multiple Sclerosis climb Mt Everest, and much more. So I am a role model for the KWRSC kids who are undertaking the same course as I did.
What do you most enjoy about lifesaving?
Wow, there is too much I enjoy about lifesaving. I love the people I get to work with, I love the beach I patrol at, I love the club house, I love the toys, I absolutely love giving up my time so others can have a safe time, I love everything about lifesaving.
But if I had to choose, I’d say the reward of being a lifesaver and the people! After my club’s presentation night the club captain sent out an email to my schools staff, about the awards I got. And one of my teachers said to me “you save other people’s lives?” in an astounded tone and “you give up so much of your time, so people can have a better time.” These two quotes made me think about the real reason I became a lifesaver, which was to help people. Lifesaving has changed my life and I am forever grateful for the people who got me involved with this wonderful association.
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering?
Unfortunately not many people I did Bronze camp with have an interest in lifesaving and/or volunteering. But I do try my absolute best to show this year’s Advance class at KWRSC about all the fun things and awards I have got to motivate them to do lifesaving or at least give it a shot!
What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far?
I have achieved a lot in a little amount of time but one of my favourite awards was when I received the Club Captain’s award for Most Outstanding Junior. When I got back to my table from collecting the award, I started crying because I was so happy and everyone was supporting me saying I deserved it. Moments like these are why I put so much effort into lifesaving.
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy?
Well I don’t play footy anymore because I took a break this season, but not having lifesaving has got to me a fair bit. Every week day I would get more and more excited to be back at Woolamai patrolling. But now it’s over, I really miss it! But my mates and I take out our JetSkis and boats all the time.
We go camping together and have heaps fun. So that’s what keeps me busy… but I cannot wait until season starts up again!
Youth Symposium Experience:
Well I was a bit nervous to go, no one I knew wanted to come so I went by myself and going by myself was the best! I made heaps of new friends at LSV that day. The whole day was a blast and I appreciate the team who put that wonderful day together. All the speakers that were there were pretty cool and inspirational. My highlight of the day was the innovation challenge and the JetSkis!