By RON LANE
IT IS now some four years since the Noosa Heads S.L.S. embarked on its Surf Education and Awareness Training Programs for schools.
To say it has been an outstanding success would have to be the understatement of the year.
Under the control and supervision of Education/Training manager Greg McLaughlin, it is estimated that some one thousand students have passed through this system. For senior students, this system enables them to undertake and complete the bronze medallion course.
With regard to the primary students, these programs will enable them to complete a modified version of the Nipper SLSQ Junior Award.
Director of Junior Activities for the Noosa Club David Glassock said, “These courses are designed to give the students the knowledge and training that will keep them safe while enjoying their time at the beach.
Another aspect of these programs, which are available to schools north of Coolum, is that it enables the smaller schools in the hinterlands, which don’t have ready access to the beaches, the opportunity to organise visits, thus enabling them to take part in the programs.”
On several occasions this column has mentioned and supported the great work of McLaughlin and his team of trainers. It will continue to do so for not only does it teach the importance of beach safety to our youth, but it will also open the doors for a possible career in the nippers or a senior lifesaving club.
With surfing now in the school curriculums the steps taken by the Noosa club are to be applauded for the structure set in place by McLaughlin is definitely second to none. The continuation and success of these programs is definitely beneficial to the youth of our community.
In preparation for the competitive season ahead, the surf boat section of the Noosa club on Sunday held its first meeting of the season. Chaired by surf boat captain Phil Bowden, it was attended by some 15 members. For the Noosa club, surf boat racing has become something of a tradition as it was started back in 1949 with the purchase of the club’s maiden boat. The boat which was termed a double ender, was built by Norm Wright at Bulimba for the staggering cost of, in today’s terms $520. Made of timber, the boat which was named the “Noosa”was so heavy that it took the five-man crew plus all other members of the club to lift it off the sand and into the boat shed. Despite this the boat performed well and earned the club many branch championships.
Top of the meeting agenda was the announcement of the appointment of Dave Tomba as rowing co-ordinator for the season ahead. Tomba was a member of the Noosa club several years ago and has returned to the fold having achieved success at National level as a boat sweep in both the 23s division and the masters. In replying to his welcome home Tomba said, “It is good to be back. Regarding the rowing, two things that I really look for is harmony and team work and remember if we sometimes have a different idea, don’t hesitate to speak up.”
As we go to press, two of Noosa’s finest Lachie Lansdown and Jordan Mercer are in Hawaii to contest the World Paddleboard Marathon Championship, Molokai to Oahu; a gruelling 52km.Good luck to both.
On Saturday afternoon, the Noosa club was stunned to hear the news that the active club manager Byron Mills was seriously injured in a board riding accident while surfing at Peregian beach. Sustaining severe head injuries, he was rushed to hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery.