For Steve Mawby, organiser of the Noosa Special Nippers – now known as the Seahorses – Saturday afternoon in the radio tower on Noosa Main Beach was very rewarding indeed. For on this occasion Lucia Neely, 15, performed her first ever training session as a radio operator.
Lucia’s time in the tower, plus completion of the official radio course, will see her obtain her radio certificate, enabling her to take her place as a member of a beach patrol roster.
Lucia has cerebral palsy but her fighting spirit – and the support of the community – is seeing her chalk up some major achievements.
“It certainly beats sitting at home! I will spend time in the tower plus do my certificate lectures, pass my exam and then I will be qualified as a radio operator. I can’t wait, it’s very exciting,’’ Lucia said.
Lucia joined Noosa Nippers some time ago but spent the last two seasons attending Sunday mornings with the Seahorses.
For Lucia, being a patrol person on Noosa Main Beach will be a family affair for her father, Rob, is the Vice Patrol Captain of Patrol 1.
Apart from her lifesaving Lucia, a student at St Teresa’s Catholic College, has another major ambition. A member of Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club, she is determined to represent her country in sailing at the Paralympics.
She trains three times a week. Last year, realising the club did not have the type of boat needed for Lucia, members got together and raised $25,000 for the necessary craft and equipment.
With the support of a devoted family, surf club mates and friends in the yacht club, there is no doubt that this young lady, who has the heart of a lion and a driving ambition that is second-to-none, could eventually wear the green and gold of this great country.