Ballina Lighthouse SLSC ‘stunned’ at second big win

SURF AWARD: Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club representatives Sharon Balkin, Rod Balkin, Stephen Perris and Kris Beavis with Layne Beachley and Kirk Pengilly at the 2014 Awards of Excellence.
SURF AWARD: Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club representatives Sharon Balkin, Rod Balkin, Stephen Perris and Kris Beavis with Layne Beachley and Kirk Pengilly at the 2014 Awards of Excellence.

FOR the second time in three years, the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club has been named Club of the Year at the 2014 Awards of Excellence.

Byron Bay's Steve Mills was named Lifeguard of the Year at the event, held in Sydney on Saturday night.

Ballina's former president, Kris Beavis, said it was a "sensational" win for their club.

"We also had three people up for individual awards," he said.

"We certainly didn't expect to win Club of the Year again - to win two years out of three, well, it's never been done.

"It's quite an achievement for a small country club.

"We were stunned; it was a lovely feeling.

"Our members put a lot into our club, and this award is all about them."

More than 280 lifesavers, athletes, coaches and administrators attended this year's Awards of Excellence.

Seven time surfing world champion Layne Beachley hosted the event.

"What I find inspiring about surf lifesaving is everybody involved with the organisation is proud and parochial about being a part of it," she said.

"Ultimately surf life saving wouldn't be what it is today without that passion because at the end of the day lifesavers are all volunteering their time and without that gesture Australia's beaches would not be as safe as they are today."

Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club will now progress to the national awards, to be held in October.

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