Last week, 23 Members from 5 surf life saving clubs and 1 marine rescue unit - Bicheno, Boat Harbour Beach, Clifton Beach, Devonport, Ulverstone and Ulverstone VMR - undertook 9 days of water safety for the 2021 Australian Rowing Championships at Lake Barrington from Saturday 20th March through until Sunday 28th March.
1,600 rowers took part in the event, and with so many on the water and lots of racing to get through each day, our members were in action from 6.30am until 7pm each day. Providing general water safety support and providing assistance to a range of incidents. As a result of these early starts and late finishes each day, we recorded a massive 1,128 volunteer ‘on water’ patrol hours at the event. This does not include the mammoth amount of time Ulverstone SLSC member, Graeme Rollins, and appointed Event Water Safety Coordinator, put into the planning and coordination of the service prior and on-site host/ chef/ go-to person for our team. Even though days were long and towards the end of the event wet and cold, spirits were high, and willingness to get ‘stuck in’ was shown by all. Weather conditions were obviously variable from fog through to early morning thunderstorms and for a period of 2 hours the dreaded South Westerly winds which interrupted the Regatta.
Camping at ‘Davies Bay’ was possibly the highlight for those that stayed at the Lake Barrington; with breakfasts at ‘the crack of dawn’, a hearty evening meal courtesy of Chef Rollins (Graeme) and debriefing around the firepot at the end of each day…and getting ready for it all to start again the next morning.
SLST Commercial Services play a facilitator role in creating opportunities for income generation and fundraising. By creating sustainable discretionary revenue streams we can continue to invest in areas that tied funding doesn’t allow us to and provide ongoing subsidies or funding to clubs and units.
The aim of this is to ensure money is invested into club operations that fund our core objectives of why we exist as a Charity. As an incentive for clubs to be part of the service at the 2021 Australian Rowing Championships, a financial contribution calculated on volunteer patrol hours was offered to all clubs. The largest investment back to a club that had volunteers available to assist for the duration of the event was over $15,000. SLST Commercial Services will continue to seek these opportunities and encourage all clubs, if possible, to get involved!
This week a smaller team of Lifesavers will continue to provide our expertise in water safety at a second event, the 2021 Under 23 Australian Rowing Team Selection Trials at Lake Barrington.