lifesaferLifesavers with Pride (LWP) is excited to kick off its Proud Beaches Scholarship for summer 20/21, promoting Surf Life Saving as somewhere that LGBTIQ people can feel welcome, safe and valued.

The scholarship helps members of the LGBTIQ community join their local surf club by removing the financial barrier to becoming a lifesaver.  Last season three scholarships were awarded, one each to NSW, WA and Qld, and we’re keen to increase these this year.

Scholarship applications are welcome from anyone over 13 for the Surf Rescue Certificate (13-15yo), or the Bronze Medallion (over 15+yo), regardless of gender, culture or physical ability, who meet their club’s award prerequisites (able to swim 400m) from anywhere in Australia.  Applicants will need to demonstrate why they should receive the scholarship and our straight friends are also welcome to apply identifying how their candidacy will increase LGBTIQ involvement in lifesaving

The Australian patrolling season operates from October to April in the south and May to September in the northern tropics, so applications are always welcome. Applicants should contact their local surf club to find out their course details.  Applications can also be submitted by surf clubs for their members.  Assessments will be reviewed 30 Sep, 31 Oct, 30 Nov and 31 Dec as well as 30 Apr.

“The Surf Life Saving community has made great progress in terms of LGBTIQ inclusion, with SLSA joining Pride in Sport, and the states supporting our participation at each of the capital city LGBTIQ Fair Days last summer.  Surf Clubs are welcoming, safe and inclusive, and we really encourage our LGBTIQ friends to visit their local surf club and try out lifesaving,” said LWP Chair, Gary Driscoll.

“Completing the Bronze Medallion course is the first step towards patrolling the beach and competing in surf sports, and we are keen to ensure cost isn’t a barrier to becoming qualified lifesavers, and active surf competitors” said Gary.

Lifesavers with Pride encourages clubs to share this scholarship opportunity and we’d love to know what your club does to make members feel safe, welcome and included.  We welcome messages of support via email or messages on social media, especially with our hashtags #lifesaverswithpride, #lwpscholarships and #proudbeaches.

Links to the application are here: https://www.lifesaverswithpride.com.au/scholarship