Ruby Lines-Perrier has been a member of the Mount Martha Life Saving Club since she was a six-year-old Nipper. Last July, at 14, she won Life Saving Victoria’s prestigious Mike Martin AM Champion Junior Lifesaver of the Year Award, setting off a chain of events for the determined teenager.
Since winning the award, the opportunities have been coming in waves for Ruby. It’s enabled her to meet some amazing people within the LSV community as well as opening a lot of doors for her to pursue her lifesaving career, cementing her passion for lifesaving and helping determine her future career path. Ruby would like to continue lifesaving at Mount Martha LSC and plans to go on to do great things for LSV, including becoming a professional lifeguard and furthering her knowledge of lifesaving. Helping others and educating young people about water safety is something to which Ruby aspires, and with this award giving her a taste, she’s not getting cold feet now. On the agenda next is completing her RWC course and Bronze Medallion before working towards her Gold Medallion.
“I started in the under-6s and it’s been so nice being at this family-based club for so long,” said Ruby. “The community is so friendly. I enjoy the fun activities like swimming, flags and boards, and I get to do it all with my friends.”
Ruby’s summers were spent at the beach every day — no surprise there. She’s been busy patrolling and helping out every weekend at Mount Martha LSC, attending training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Ruby is a water baby and the beach is a huge part of her life, mostly because her club was so welcoming that she wanted to go back. As she speaks highly of coach Troy Cochrane and her fellow teammates, it’s easy to see why.
Ruby shares the award with Samuel Dripps, from Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club. The pair have remained in touch and become good friends and are still so proud that they were chosen out of an initial pool of 200 young lifesaver applicants from around the state. It was the first time the Mount Martha LSC had put someone forward for the award.
“The board members voted for me to be put up for the award. It came to me as a big shock but I’m so grateful that they believed in me so I could receive the amazing opportunity. I wouldn’t be here without my club. Meeting Mike Martin, the namesake of the award, was really insane.”
Prue Lines-Perrier is thrilled for her daughter’s award win, but says it’s just as important that Mt Martha LSC itself is recognised. “Lifesaving starts with Nippers and goes right through to the seniors and includes everyone who patrols at Mount Martha LSC,” Prue says. “Everyone mentors and supports everyone within the club to be the best people and lifesavers they can be.”
The supportive community behind Ruby means so much to the teenager. Club president Bec Gibbs has not only been an important role model for Ruby and her development as a lifesaver from a child to a teenager, but was also the one responsible for Ruby’s nomination.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to my club,” said Ruby. “Everyone at the club has been amazing, especially my coaches Troy, Grant Gibbs and club administrator Pam Mowat. They’ve always believed in me. I also wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my family. They have been so supportive of me over the past 12 months and I am thankful for their constant encouragement.”
If spending the summer by the beach has inspired you to follow in her footsteps, Ruby says: “Go for it.”