Abbey Keighran wins Hunter Junior Life Saver of the Year

Abbey Keighran, Newcastle Permanent Hunter Junior Life Saver of the Year

LOCAL Life Saver youth Abbey Keighran has been named the ‘Newcastle Permanent Hunter Junior Life Saver of the Year’ at a ceremony at Swansea Belmont Surf Life Saving Club on Sunday, 4 February.

Abbey, fourteen, took out the female prize, with male winner Max Mietzel from Newcastle Surf Life Saving Club.

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“Each of our local clubs puts forward a female and male nominee, who are required to participate in the Newcastle Permanent Branch Championships and also sit for an interview with a panel of judges,” said Hunter Surf Life Saving President Henry Scruton ESM.

“It’s not easy, but Abbey and Max really rose to the challenge and both impressed the panel with their work ethic, passion for the sport, and dedication to the community.

“Abbey and Max have made significant contributions to their clubs and are people that our younger members can be inspired by.”

Abbey, who joined the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club in the 2020-21 season, started with Nippers, and has since been on patrol, and completed her Age Manager award, so that she can help more Nipper kids in the water.

“Along with their beach safety knowledge and water skills, it’s wonderful to see that they are giving back to their community at such a young age,” Newcastle Permanent’s Greg Hooper said.

“Witnessing the development of young leaders like Abbey and Max makes all of us at Newcastle Permanent feel exceptionally proud of our partnership with Hunter Surf Life Saving, it’s clear that Abbey and Max have very bright futures ahead!”

Abbey will go for her Bronze Medallion next year, as well as jetski and IRB licences to further what she can do with the local Club.

“I am interested in childcare and education, and always had a strong passion for helping kids, so I might become a teacher,” Abbey said.

“The award means a lot to me, I’ve worked really hard, always tried to show up and help out, this is a big thing, being recognised for all the effort.

“A lot of friends my age put in a lot of effort, none of us would be where we are without that.

“I’d like to thank Amanda and Natalie, they were my Nippers instructors for a while, and they pushed me to be where I am today, and nominated me for this amazing award.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Abbey with co-winner Max, and Newcastle Permanent’s Greg Hooper (left) and Hunter Surf Life Saving President Henry Scruton.

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