I had a tough decision to make last week, do I attend the popular Cole Classic I had partnered with and had dozen’s of OceanFit-trained swimmers attending, or complete my rostered lifesaving patrol at Burning Palms in the Royal National Park.
As a tiny club, and one of only a couple of surf clubs in the country you can’t drive up to in a car (it’s a 2.5km hike down a hill), it had proven difficult to get a sub.
In the end, it wasn’t a tough decision at all for me. As much as I’d have loved to be at Manly, my patrol was already low on numbers and my duty was to the club and the beach-going public (mainly Figure 8 Pool visitors these days).
Lifesaving has been a huge part of my life for the 26 years since I received my Bronze Medallion as a 14 year-old at Midway in 1993, and OceanFit is a by-product of my passion for lifesaving.
I now get immense satisfaction from offering the public the opportunity to gain similar skills and knowledge to that of a lifesaver, and the best news I can get from previous clients is that they have gone on to earn their Bronze Medallion and become a lifesaver.
Like many volunteer organisations, surf lifesaving is finding it tough to attract competent and committed members to help keep the beaches safe – there are simply so many options out there competing for attention these days.
Ocean swimmers like you would be welcomed with open arms at any surf club around the country, and we’d love to have you. What’s more, there’s also a sporting side to lifesaving (including a fantastic masters competition) with surf races that were the original ocean swims!
At most clubs around the country, it’s not too late to sign up to a bronze training group this season. To find a surf club near you, search surf life saving’s club directory.