THE LIFE: Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club's youth and membership development officer Mitch Hooper getting ready to take the IRB for a spin at sunrise. Photo Scottie Simmonds
THE LIFE: Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club's youth and membership development officer Mitch Hooper getting ready to take the IRB for a spin at sunrise. Photo Scottie Simmonds Contributed

Get a first-hand feel for lifesaving today at local clubs

HAVE you ever thought about becoming a volunteer surf lifesaver?

Today many of the surf lifesaving clubs across the Wide Bay Capricorn region will be throwing open their doors and rolling out the welcome mats as part of Surf Life Saving Queensland's (SLSQ) fifth annual Surf Club Open Day.

Joining surf lifesaving clubs from around the state Moore Park, Elliot Heads and Bundaberg Bay Surf Life Saving Clubs will welcome members of the public interested in joining surf lifesaving as well as giving returning members the opportunity to renew their membership for the 2013/2014 season.

Clubs will open from 10am to 1pm and will host a number of activities, such as lifesaving demonstrations, clubhouse tours, barbecues and displays. Some will also offer people the chance to try out some activities so they can get a first-hand feel for lifesaving.

SLSQ Wide Bay Capricorn Branch Regional Manager Craig Holden said the Surf Club Open Day was designed to showcase the wide range of activities that people could get involved in at a surf club, while giving prospective members a chance to sign up for the volunteer patrol season, which officially kicked off on 21 September.

"Anyone can become a surf lifesaver, no matter if you are young or simply young at heart," Mr Holden said.

"We always encourage new patrolling members, but there are plenty of other things that you can do if you're not confident in the water or if you just don't want to get your feet wet.

"There are literally hundreds of volunteer jobs to choose from - everything from radio communications to administration and fundraising to managing a team of junior competitors at a local surf carnival.

"With the bumper summer season just around the corner, now is a great time to check out your local surf clubs and see what they can offer you," he said.

There are over 31,000 Queenslanders currently involved in surf lifesaving and Mr Holden said this included people of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.

"Every year we have mums and dads, students, doctors, tradespeople, grandparents and company CEOs all involved with surf lifesaving in some capacity."

"One of the great things about joining a surf club is that you walk into a ready-made group of friends. It's also a great way to spend some family time together while doing something good for the community," Mr Holden said.

The clubs will be open from 10am to 1pm today and everyone is welcome to attend. For further information please contact Surf Life Saving Queensland on 07 3846 8000 or visit lifesaving.com.au/getinvolved.

Last season, Queensland's volunteer lifesavers spent more than 336,000 hours on patrol, performing 101,797 preventative actions and 8,464 first aid treatments, and most importantly, saving 2,381 lives in the process. Behind the scenes, SLSQ educated more than 300,000 people on surf safety through its various community awareness initiatives.



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