Ballina clubbies best of the best
MEMBERS of the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club are "buzzing" after their club was named the 2012 Club of the Year.
The announcement was made at the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence in Sydney on Saturday night.
Two Ballina members, Steve McNabb and Rhys Balkin, were also honoured with a Meritorious Award for their rescue of a person in distress off the Ballina bar in February this year.
Club president Kris Beavis said he was disappointed to be "half way around the globe" at a time when he should be celebrating with his fellow club members.
In a statement he said they had "dared to dream over the last decade".
"This accolade is recognition for our members who have worked tirelessly to achieve this national honour," he said.
The win was a surprise for members - the club is still working out of shipping containers because the new Lighthouse Beach clubhouse is under construction.
But Ballina surf club's Joe Keane said they told the judging panel: "We are more than just bricks and mortar."
"It's what we do between the red and yellow flags.
"We've also done great rescues, we've got a successful nippers program, we do a lot of development with our members and we've got the new clubhouse across the line."
Also at the awards night in Sydney, Ben Redman, Jon Rigley and Callum O'Grady from the Evans Head-Casino club received a Meritorious Award.