Surf lifesaving clubs are raised on selflessness, but the crew at Chiton Rocks also see the bigger waves of success.
Saturday, October 10 is an open day for every club across the state, but rather than trying to promote just their own campaign they sought awareness for the cause throughout, especially neighbouring clubs Port Elliot and Goolwa.
For 10 years the Chiton Rocks SLC has lived in hope of gaining funding toward a multi-million dollar redevelopment of their complex, and again the optimism has risen for the new year. It will fill a huge void for the community, especially providing a marvellous environment for our youth.
Yet, Chiton’s membership manager Amanda Dean also recognises that the Port Elliot club needs funding for renovations, and the Goolwa club just needs something – it doesn’t have clubrooms. It’s about promoting the cause and the enormous social benefits for communities.
Chiton has 230 members, including 60 nippers aged 5-13 years in four age groups, and the membership numbers have been encouraging in recent years.
There were only five nippers at the club when Amanda started her role at the club nine years ago, and the success is also largely due to a concerted effort by energetic committee members, currently led by Aaron Lewis as president, and his wife Lindy as secretary-treasurer.
Amanda said that every child may not like the traditional summer sports, and surf lifesaving ticked a whole lot of boxes. “It’s not just for those who can swim well, but for anyone who is keen to serve the community as a volunteer,” she said.
“You have the opportunity to do first aid courses including upgrading your certificate, and learn how to ride all terrain vehicles and drive the inflatable rescue boat. Volunteers are needed in all sorts of important areas.
“Surf lifesaving is about helping to save lives, and in the process the clubs offer a great environment for people of all ages. We have some very good young swimmers here, and raising their fitness levels and well being while training to save people brings its personal rewards.
“Our club is also very much about developing a strong family and community environment where young people can build character.”
Chiton, like a growing list of sporting clubs in the region, is a Good Sports Club, a national initiative by the Australian Drug Foundation that provides resources and training to help clubs tackle alcohol-related issues as well as mental health, smoking and obesity.
The planned redevelopment has been a challenging journey, but the club has worked hard and remained positive throughout. The message that needs to get out is Chiton, like every surf lifesaving club, is not only about saving lives in the water, but providing a quality environment in every day life.
“We’ll get there eventually,” Amanda said, referring to the development. “No one ever gives up hope in this place.”
You’re welcome to meet the wonderful Chiton crew on Saturday, October 10 from 2-4pm, and also see two other magnificent surf lifesaving clubs down the road.