Five Questions With… Linda Poulsen

Monday, 17 June 2024

Club:  Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club

Volunteer Role:  Club Captain/Lifeguard Manager


What’s the best thing about volunteering?

The best thing about volunteering is seeing growth and development in those around you.  I get a huge amount of enjoyment from that.  I also love the connections you make with different generations and being surrounded by incredible likeminded people.  That really drives me to volunteer.


Why do you volunteer for Surf Life Saving New Zealand?

I really enjoy the outdoors and love the beach.  I also love that surf lifesaving is a sport and volunteering movement that includes people of all ages.  I love that you can be on patrol with a 50-year-old and a 14-year-old, all working towards the same goal: minding the beach and looking after beachgoers.  Surf lifesaving also encourages personal growth.  For example, a young girl who joined the club was initially quiet and shy and couldn’t imagine herself in an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB).  Now, at 16, she has her crewman’s, she’s competed in IRBs, and is working towards her drivers.  Seeing this kind of development is incredibly rewarding. 


I am pleased to say that our family of four are all qualified surf lifeguards.  I encourage families to get involved as it is something you can do as a family at a very low price compared to other organisations.


What’s your day job?

Many people ask if I work full-time in surf lifesaving, but I actually have four jobs: I manage a legal office a couple of days a week, work for a leadership and development coach, assist a gib installer, and help manage a trust.  I also volunteer as a kayak coach and am a wife and mother to two daughters.  I’m kind of busy!


How do you balance everything?

I’m not entirely sure – I just fit everything into my day.  I’m passionate about everything I do, and I make it work.  I’m a firm believer that if you give a job to the busiest person on the committee, they’ll get it done!


What would your advice be to anyone thinking about volunteering for SLSNZ?

It’s very rewarding being a volunteer, and it’s important to remember you can contribute as much or as little as you want – make it work for you.  I would also tell people that you’re never too old to get into it, and there are so many roles available – you don’t have to get your feet wet.