Twenty-four year old Charlie Pitney was elected to the position at last month’s Annual General Meeting, replacing Mathew Ponsford, who stood down after four years in the role.
Mr Pitney takes over at what he describes as an “exciting” time, with work set to start as early as this month on a new $ 5 million clubhouse.
“I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a very last minute and somewhat reluctant decision knowing the massive amount of work involved with being president of such a large volunteer organisation,” he said. “Having said that though, I have come to realise what an exciting time it is to be involved and that I will learn so much in this position.
“I am really excited about what lies ahead for the next couple of seasons. A number of older members have commented that it is exciting to have a number of young people taking the reins as we move ahead to our new clubhouse project as we are building the new clubhouse for the young members so us young members should have a say in the final product.
Pitney’s 16 year involvement with the club includes stints as club and vice club captain. More recently he chaired a group reviewing the club’s constitution. He also boasts a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Law.
That combination of youth and experience he hopes will help ensure a strong future.
In particular Mr Pitney says he is keen to lift community engagement, bolster membership and participation, develop new community outreach programs and raise the club’s profile through events, conference and training and development programs.
He also wants to expand the reach of the club’s Nippers program, by introducing more “off-peak” activities.
“I have three main passions that I hope to deliver through my presidency - firstly, keeping our beaches safe, secondly, helping young people to realise their potential and finally creating and fostering a strong sense of community around the club," he said.
In my term as Club Captain, I harnessed these passions and my energy to rejuvenating the life saving services team and I now hope that in my position as President I can deliver this to a wider range of our members. Outside of surf life saving.”