Michael Bate

Michael Bate – Freshwater SLSC

Michael began his surf life saving journey at Fairy Meadow Surf Life Saving Club in the Illawarra in 1972 but has a connection to the Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club and a fierce loyalty to both Surf Life Saving and the community therein, he gained his Bronze Medallion in 1972.

At Fairy Meadow he was President from 1982 to 1986 and Secretary from 1977 to 1982, he was then made Life Member in October 1982.

Moving on to the Illawarra Branch he held a number of positions from 1978 to 1987 including Branch President.

Due to business Michael moved to Western Australia and joined Scarborough Surf Life Saving Club  where he held a number of positions within the Club from 1989 to 1994.

Michael then moved back to Sydney and joined Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club and within nippers he held various positions from 1995 to 2005. Michael joined the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Board of Examiners – now called Board of Surf Sports in 1997 and went through to 2008. He was the Director of Surf Sports for Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches for 3 years. Michael was granted the Distinguished Service Award for Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches in 2006 for his special service to Club, Branch, State and Australian bodies over many years.

Michael joined Surf Life Saving New South Wales as a Board member in 2010. As a member of the Surf Life Saving New South Wales Executive Board, he was integrally involved in the purchase of the new Headquarters and played a significant role in the successful establishment of a long-term future fund to help protect Surf Life Saving New South Wales from financial stress.

Michael is a distinguished Referee who is respected by organisers, officials, and competitors. He has led teams in the international competition arena and was highly regarded by team members, international officials as well as opposing teams. Michael has been part of almost every sports discipline in our movement and has been an Official since 1978, he commented “Although I wasn’t great at any one discipline in surf sports, I was described by someone at my Club as a good sport instead of good at sport. I filled in everywhere but never got in a surf boat.”

In 2021 Michael was honoured with Surf Life Saving Australia Life Membership. He has been involved with the organisation for over 50 years noting “Surf Life Saving has given me and my family a lot of enjoyment so for me it’s about giving back to a sport that’s given me so much in my life.”

“Most important for me, however, is the friendships,” Michael said.
“You never go striving for accolades, and while I am humbled by the award (SLSA Life Membership) and the various achievements I have been a part of, it’s the lifetime friends that I started with and still catch up with that make it worthwhile.
“Surf has been very good to me, my wife and my five kids, we went through it together, and we’ve all become better people.
“The longer you’re involved, the more it means.”

Michael was awarded SNB Life Membership in 2008.


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