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Local recognized for volunteer service

Mikyla Sherlow, at centre in shades, won a national award. | File photo

by Evan Matthews | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

In a community that prides itself on volunteerism, one local woman has been recognized on a federal platform.

The Lifesaving Society — Canada’s self-proclaimed lifeguarding experts — gave Jasper local Mikyla Sherlow, 22, a Service Commendation Award at the Lifesaving Society Investiture of Lifesaving Honours. Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell presented the award.

“I’ve been involved with the lifesaving society both as a volunteer and an employee for the past eight years,” says Sherlow.  “I’ve been a swim coach as well as a first aid instructor, which are just some of the services provided on behalf of the Lifesaving Society.”

The Commendation Award recognizes service, contribution or achievement by an individual who have made “significant contributions” within an active volunteer role for a minimum of two years involvement with the Lifesaving Society.

First picture from left to right: Coach Mikyla Sherlow, Emma Glover, Teslyn Pfisterer, Pascale Robinson, Mikaela Robinson, Colten Thomas, Hope Deagle, Turi Duhamel, Isabelle Glover, Rebecca Glover, Mistaya Duhamel, Sophia Mastrianni, and Sophie Pfisterer.

At age 14, Sherlow started volunteering at the local pool, helping teams out and coaching where possible. By 16, Sherlow became a certified lifeguard and swim instructor. She also began coaching the River Dragons and Red Fins swim teams.

Sherlow’s passion in combination with her years of service, translated to a very touching moment when she took home the award.

“It meant a lot, only because I’ve been involved for so long,” says Sherlow. “It was nice to feel recognized for doing something I love.” She noted her love for the community she’s always felt a part of.

The Lifesaving Society organization is a full service provider of programs, products and services designed to prevent drowning, including classes such as First Aid, CPR or AED.

Now, one of Sherlow’s main roles is teaching first aid classes, and instructing people in the municipality. Public education is one of the most important aspects to saving lives, she says, as its proactive.

“I like educating kids, so they have knowledge of how to be safe in the water. I started swimming at 6 months old, so I can help others have confidence… I love doing what I do. First aid and confidence doing it is really important. With all the highways in national park, it’s always good to know what to do in emergency.”

Currently, Sherlow works as a Therapeutic Assistant at Edmonton Catholic school. Her current role, in combination with her many years instructing, has resulted in an ambition to continue teaching professionally.

Mikyla Sherlow, at left in glasses, won a national award. | File photo

“I want to work in the school system,” she says, but added she has no intention of leaving the Lifesaving Society.

“I want to work with kids and better their lives. I’m always going to play a small role (with the society), even if it’s working on the weekends,” she says.

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