CHAMPION: Female Junior Lifesaver of the Year Matilda Shirley from Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.
CHAMPION: Female Junior Lifesaver of the Year Matilda Shirley from Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. SLS NSW

Matilda makes junior lifesaver of the year

BYRON Bay SLSC's Matilda Shirley has finished off her Nippers career in style being named the Junior Lifesaver of the Year award (JLOTY) today in Sydney.

Matilda Shirley along with and Elliott Prasad from Narrabeen Beach SLSC were awarded the prestigious prize after impressing the judging panel during this week's development program at the Collaroy Learning Centre in what was a very close competition.

"When they announced the winners, I was very surprised and it was totally unexpected. I'm just so honoured to represent my club and branch and to do everyone proud who I hold dear. It's just an amazing moment,” Matilda said.

The young Far North Coast lifesaver has covered plenty of distance in her time in Surf Life Saving having started her career as a U6 Nipper in Broome, Western Australia before moving to Brisbane.

"I moved from Broome to Brisbane and I really loved Surf Life Saving and I couldn't it give up so my dad once again drove me to Kurrawa SLSC every single Sunday and I stuck with it before I joined Byron Bay two years ago and it's a massive part of my life and I will never give it up, Matilda said.

The duo were among 22 Under 14 finalists from the eleven branches in NSW nominated to take part in the annual leadership and development program, which brings together like-minded young lifesavers in their final year of Nippers.

"Of course I want to continue on to obtain my Bronze Medallion and stay highly involved in Byron Bay Surf Club, and just do whatever I can to give back to my club and community who have done so much for me,” said Matilda.

Both Matilda and Elliott will be honoured as part of the annual NSW Awards of Excellence to be held on Saturday 5 August at Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney.


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