Our young members are the future of lifesaving.

here are many ways our young members can be involved in lifesaving and our Crusaders program is designed to keep you motivated, involved, and help you get ahead in life outside of lifesaving in a fun, healthy and safe environment.

The SHSLSC Crusaders emerged in 2013/14 as a part of the continued evolution of the Secret Harbour Cadet Program and the further e implementation of the national Youth Involvement Program (YIPs).

SHSLSC has been been developing their YIPs program over many years with strong support from Alcoa, Channel Nine News, Team Anzac Canteen Fund, Paul Papalia MLA and member for Warnbro, and Lorraine Dove – Horizon Remax.

So who are the Crusaders?

They are the Clubs’ U14-U19 Cadets who have chosen to be a part of the Youth Involvement Program. They are our youth looking for challenge and adventure.  The Crusaders provides the vehicle for our youth to develop under the watchful eyes of Surf; to challenge themselves; to conquer fears and to develop into confident young men and women. 

So what is the Youth Involvement Program?

The Program is exactly that – it’s about YOUTH involvement.  It’s about having a go and being exposed to all that Surf has to offer, along the surf pathways, for member development which include: lifesaving, education, community engagement and surf sports.  It is the segue to becoming an active member of the club and a valuable member of the community.

From as young as 13 years, our youth members can become involved in patrolling our beaches; gaining more education awards; fundraising at events; acting as water safety personnel; competing at carnivals; involving themselves in personal training, assisting with nippers and much more. With a well structured support system, the club gives youth members an opportunity to expand their knowledge and be more involved in a club whilst working towards a reward as recognition for their time and effort.

Participants of the program are provided with a YIPs booklet in which they can record their activities within each pathway.  Their participation in activities gains points toward rewards which are awarded as such: 150 for BRONZE, 250 for SILVER and 500 for GOLD.

It’s a bit like FLYBUYs – the more one participates the greater number of points that are gained.  The award structure is designed to make each reward achievable over consecutive seasons. A participant joining the program, as an U14 should be able to achieve GOLD by the time they turn 18.  Gold is the pinnacle reward with participants completing a project that improves member participation in the club.

The rewards are all about promoting participation and having a go. They are centered around the gaining of awards, completion of patrols, training (both education and surf sports), attending coaching programs, a leadership course, providing community support, running a program and involvement in club activities.

The Crusaders are supported to complete the activities that they have chosen. They are linked with mentors in the different areas of the club to assist with their progress. The mentors are typically our Directors, Life Members, Long Service Members, Patrol/Vice Captains, Trainers/Assessors, Coaches, Junior Club Captains, Committee Members as well as Parents and Peers.

So what’s in it for the Participant?

Well apart from the reward – our BRONZE awardees are presented with a CRUSADERS Hoodie and a YIPs Certificate.  Participants in the program attend the Crusaders Camp in April each year where they engage in team bonding and leadership exercises. The U14 group are also invited to attend as they enter the senior section of the club and progress to gaining their Bronze Medallions in the following season.

The Crusaders have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of surf lifesaving and are provided opportunities to experience many different roles that are important in running a club and being involved in a volunteer organisation. Additionally, the Crusaders are able to participate in activities such as paint-balling, sleep-overs, movie nights, visits to Rous Head (home of our Westpac Surf Lifesaving Helicopters). They will also have the opportunity to interact with other combat agencies such as the Water Police and local VMRs and they are invited to shadow Patrol Vice Captains (as a stepping stone to their own development towards Patrol Captain should they wish), trainers, coaches, club representatives in the community to name just a few.

As well as all that there is the reward of being a CRUSADER, experience growth, not only as an individual, but as a team.  It’s about belonging, seeing every challenge as an opportunity and setting goals – it’s been said by one Crusader, “Keep shooting for the stars and if you land on the moon that’s OK because at least you gave it a go.” – Brock Ingram, Crusader Mentor Crusaders Camp April 2014 and paralympian 2016.

Typically our Crusaders provide over 2,600 hrs. of community service a year in support of Surf Lifesaving. This equates to almost $90,000 in tax dollars and represents a great saving for the council and the Rockingham electorate.  However the contribution is much greater than this alone as the values and attitudes of the Crusaders speak volumes for the youth of WA.