Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club

No Lives Lost at Bondi Beach

It is with heavy hearts and pr

It is with heavy hearts and profound sorrow that we share the devastating news from France today, as we will solemnly lower our flag to half-mast tomorrow.

Club member Louise Santos has died suddenly while away on holiday with her family in France.

The entire club stands in profound shock, grappling with the void left by Louise’s passing. She recently became our newest Life member. Our deepest sympathies and support are extended to her beloved husband, Stuart, and her son, Josh, who is also an active Nipper. Our thoughts are with them as they navigate this unfathomable loss.

For those who had the privilege of attending our last Annual General Meeting, you understand the pivotal role Louise quietly played within our club for decades. Her commitment knew no bounds, and she continued to champion our cause diligently, currently serving as the Registrar and meticulously planning the upcoming season for our surf sports team.

Personally, I will deeply miss Louise’s straightforward, pragmatic approach, and her resolute “can-do” attitude that inspired us all. Her influence reverberated through countless aspects of our club, and her absence will be profoundly felt by each and every one of us. Louise’s legacy is one of unwavering dedication, and the profound impact she had on our club’s journey.

At 6pm on Wednesday 27 September, those who are able (including any of our Icebergs mates where she was also a great member), are asked to gather at the steps of our club for a few minutes to lower the flag together and light a candle. A proper memorial and related activities will be planned and communicated in time but this is just a few moments together to mark this sad news.

Let us come together as a community, united in our love for Louise and the spirit she instilled in our club. May her memory serve as a reminder of the passion, commitment, and camaraderie that define us.

With heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy.

Brent Jackson
President
Louise Santos
15.09.1969 – 25.09.2023

Louise joined Bondi SBLSC in 2003 after moving to Bondi from the northern beaches where she had grown up as a Dee Why nipper, competed at pool swim events and in other sports. She gained her Bronze Medallion at Bondi on 13 April 2003 and became Vice Captain of Bassingwaithe Patrol (2006-2008), attaining her Long Service in 2014.
She was Bondi’s first female individual Australian Titles gold medallist in 2005 in the 35-39 years Ironwoman and a member of the first female Opens Australian gold medallists in the Open 5-Person R&R in 2006. The team went on to win four consecutive Australian Titles and Louise also medalled in two other Open events and was a member of our first Masters Female Team at Aussies in 2008. She has competed in more than 40 Australian Masters and World Masters Titles events, evidence of her versatility as a competitor.
Louise continues to be a fierce competitor and team player for the Blue and White, with our current Swim Captain Nick estimating she entered more events in the 2022 season than anyone from any club in Australia.
She has competed the Coolangatta Gold Long Course – previously considered an endurance event that women could not complete – on a number of occasions and in 2018, at the age of 49, placed second in the 35-49 age group.
At Club level, Louise has been Female Club Champion four times (2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2009/2010, 2012/2013), a member of Stan Mac Relay team (2004/2005) and Harry Nightingale Open Patrol Person of the Year 2006/2007. She was also the first female to complete the gruelling Gold Medallion at Bondi, in 2008/2009.
As an administrator, Louise became our first female Director of Competition (now Surf Sports) in the 2006/07 season and proved those who believed the role should be held only by a non-competitor (as had always been the case beforehand) wrong, excelling in the role. More recently, she has held the roles of Youth Captain (2016-2017), Board Captain (2013-2016 and 2017-2023) and Registrar (2022)
She was the driving force and organiser of a number of highly successful initiatives aimed at retaining our youth/cadet members including the introduction of Cadet of the Month award and cadet patrol mentorship program in 2018, cadet movie and pizza night, cadet Wet n Wild Water Park day and has spent many years coaching cadet age competition board groups (2009-2016).
In addition to her work as a professional coach for the Club, Louise has spent countless hours as a volunteer on the beach coaching cadets and new Masters athletes in board and ski skills. Similarly, she was employed in the office for a period but has assisted the Club with administration tasks on an unpaid basis over the years since, including as Registrar in 2022.
For the past five years, Louise has become increasingly involved with the junior club – as an Age Manager assistant and water events coach since 2018, Age Competition Manager 2019-2021, Nippers competition manager 2021, State Nippers Team manager and Nipper board and swim coach. She is also the senior club’s Board Captain, going above and beyond to fix competitor’s damaged boards or drive them to the Northern Beaches to be fixed.
Louise has been a consistent water safety volunteer and all-round volunteer for 20 years. She was part of the organising team for the Century Ball, organises the annual Clubbie Classic barbecues, has been the liaison for the Nipper and Senior Club barbecue since 2016, has volunteered at every opportunity for fundraisers and appeals including 18 City to Surfs, the 2020 Bush Fire Appeal and every Bondi Blue Water Challenge since 2011.

It is with heavy hearts and pr

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It is with heavy hearts and pr

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