Red Beach club stalwart Patricia Olsen has become the first female to be awarded a Life Membership of the Red Beach Surf Club. The award was presented at the club’s Annual General Meeting held on July 31st.
Pat began her lifesaving career in 1950 when she joined Milford Girls Surf Club and for eight years served as Club Captain and Secretary.
She joined Red Beach Surf Club in 1971 and in the late 70’s served as the club’s Social Convenor. She maintained a close connection during the time her two sons were involved as Nippers and then as lifeguard members.
In the late 1980’s she competed at the first NZ Masters event and continued to take a strong interest in Masters events. At the World Champs at Red Beach in 1991, where she was one of the organisers, she won 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal.
In 1987 she joined the Auckland Board of Judges and has remained a member through to this day, giving a total of 24 years’ service. She became a Nationals judge in 1991 and has maintained this role right through to the present time, a total of 21 years. She has officiated at the Northern Regional Championships for 17 years.
For eight years from 1990 up to 1999 she was an R&R coach for Red Beach, with her young charges successful in NRC’s competition. Her last stint at R&R coaching was in 2005 – with her U19 team winning the NRC’s title – just before Surf Lifesaving NZ dropped the event from the Nationals.
She has Service Awards and Distinguished Service Awards from both Auckland and New Zealand Surf Lifesaving. In 2002 she was named as Auckland’s Surf Official of the Year.
Pat was a hard-working member of the organising committee for the 50th Owen Chapman Cup carnival in 2006 and she has helped with the organising of the Owen Chapman event ever since. She has officiated at the World Rescue Championships, travelling to Florida, Italy and Egypt in the process.