In the late 1990’s Mike introduced his children to quote “the amazing lifestyle and community service” offered via surf lifesaving. Mike claims “they took to it like ducks to water”.
Like many parents he willingly contributed his time and started volunteering as a junior surf coach and facilitator and working with Junior Surf Coordinator Biff McDermott. This was the commencement of a significant, and continuing, contribution to Taylors. In 2005 he obtained his surf award and after 16 years is still active as a lifeguard.
Since 2005 Mike has been a member of the club committee. He has undertaken numerous roles, including – club captain for 4 years, the Senior Vice President role since 2014, plus health and safety officer and patrol operations manager. In addition, he has managed teams, coached beach events, instructed lifeguards, facilitated training for the club and the Canterbury region, been an examiner for regional lifeguard awards, managed patrols and managed health and safety incidents. Following the 2011 earthquakes Mike was involved in making sure the club had a building to operate from and assisted with the gathering information for insurance claims.
At a regional and national level Mike is a facilitator for the instructor and patrol captains’ courses and undertakes reviews of changes to the SLSNZ training modules such as Patrol Captain and Rock Rescue. He has also been heavily involved in surf events as a referee, guard, official, Event Safety Manager, selector, and was the Canterbury U14 coach. In addition, he has been a member and chair of both the Canterbury Local Lifesaving Committee, and the National Lifesaving Committee for many years. He continues to be involved in both. Mike is the NZ representative for the Rescue Operations Committee on the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).
Mike’s commitment is significant and like many members of SLSNZ, he is in it for life! When asked to indicate an aspect of the Club’s activity that he particularly enjoyed Mike said, “I have really enjoyed seeing the development of our members plus helping, encouraging and empowering them, from an early age, to take control of adults at the beach”. Ensuring that our members are encouraged in such a manner will allow for Taylors to continue to be a safe environment. Mike’s effort is appreciated.