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Don Marsh Given life membership by the the SLSA

The Mercury - 7 November 2021

Tasmanian surf life saving legend Don Marsh has been recognised for more than 50 years of service and performance with life membership of Surf Life Saving Australia.

Marsh has been a key figure in surf lifesaving as a competitor, coach and administrator since 1966 and on Saturday he became only the 10th Tasmanian to receive the honour in the organisation’s more than 100-year history.

“It’s obviously a very prestigious recognition of service so I was quite overwhelmed when I was first informed,” he said. “I feel very humbled by the fact I’ve been granted this recognition as it’s a pretty exclusive club and something I’m very humbled by.”

The honour is in addition to Marsh’s 2019 induction into the Australian Surf Life Saving Masters Hall of Fame for his dominance in the master’s category.

The 71-year-old said despite his success as a competitor, which includes 12 Masters Ironman Championships and nine Masters surf race championships, there was much more to his love for the sport than individual success.

“I love to compete but it’s not just about that it’s also passing on knowledge to some of our youth and seeing them develop in all regards as people – I get a big buzz out of that,” he said.

“Surf life saving has various parts to it and the community service that’s provided and the life skills that’s given to our members is really important to me.”

Marsh still regularly competes and most recently took part in the 19km ski race at the Surf Safari held in Hobart over the weekend – in which he was also the event organiser.

His journey in surf life saving started in the summer of 1966 at the age of 16 when he joined the Park Beach Surf Club (now Carlton Park) and 55 years later said there were no plans to hang up the Speedos just yet.

“That’s like putting a date on your death certificate,” he said with a laugh.

“I don’t know if I’m smart or mad, but I’m not going to put a timeframe on it.

“I’ll continue to do it because I guess the saltwater is in my blood.

“As a 4-year-old I had a real affinity with the ocean and, importantly, the respect of the ocean and it’s been with me ever since.”

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Don Marsh inducted into the SLSA Masters Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Don Marsh (Carlton Park SLSC) who was inducted into the SLSA Masters Hall of Fame.

SLSA Australia recognized Don for his sporting achievements and contributions to Surf Life Saving.

His citation reads, "In recognition of the outstanding competition achievements and the promotion of lifelong friendship between masters competitors in surf life saving."

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Don Marsh Doesn't Look Back

DON Marsh says winning isn't everything, but he sure made a good habit of it yesterday.

The Carlton Park 65-69 years competitor has been coming to the Aussies for almost 50 years and said he's probably amassed 40 in total.

Despite claiming a convincing win in the ironman and wins in the board and surf race, he maintains The Masters is about coming back and seeing friends year after year.

"It's about the mates," he said.

"It's like one big family. Winning's nice but it's just about still being able to compete at my age and even older."

Marsh took a commanding lead early in the ironman race and finished streets ahead of Fair Meadow's Jeff Banks.

Marsh heeded his own advice, which he gives to junior competitors in his role as a coach.

"I didn't look around much, I tell you," he said.
"I teach the kids not to look around.
"But it's great to see these old guys doing it well."
Today he will line up in the teams events including the swim relay, taplin relay and possibly the ski.
"I'll be coaching the kids later on in the week too," he said.

He said the key to backing up was a good night's rest and "rehydration".

...Alex Nolan - Sunshine Coast Daily - 19 April 2016

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