Chief Cole loves serving others
By VINCE HABERMANN
MARTIN Cole joined the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club at the age of 12 and 18 years later, he is still an extremely active member.
He missed a two-year period while he was overseas, but that only re-invigourated his enthusiasm for the movement.
The club is like his second home, spending a lot of time every weekend there, in addition to the hours he devotes during the week in his second season as chief training officer.
"It is like a family - when I was young, my brother Gavin was also a member and Mum used to run the canteen and Dad helped out on the beach,'' Cole said.
"And I enjoy getting down on the beach and having a chat with people as they have a good time, and I also get a bit of a kick out of seeing young boys and girls I have trained going on to bigger things.''
A surveyor by occupation, Cole's position in the club involves mainly preparing candidates for their surf rescue certificate, bronze medallion and proficiency tests and all terrain vehicle inductions.
"I also do a little bit of resuscitation certificate stuff with some of the young ones,'' he said.
A class champion at last year's state orienteering titles, Cole said he had never been much of a surf sport competitor and that helping save lives was his motivation.
"I was probably a swim and board competitor, if anything - I was definitely not a beach competitor - my only state medal was bronze in march past when I was in under-13 in 1988,'' he said.
"I only compete a little bit now, but mainly in champion lifesaver and first aid - I did one event at branch championships this year - the board race - and I got nowhere, but I have moved up to masters now and I might do a few surf events again - I'll just see.