Bilinga ready for summer
BILINGA Surf Life Saving Club is in for some serious fun this summer.
Six new training mannequins, purchased thanks to a $1500 donation by Westpac, and 20 members joining the surf patrol ranks will ensure a successful season.
Club member Lynne Bray said the new mannequins, worth $350 each, would provide better training for club members.
“We used to have only three mannequins to rotate between all members,” Ms Bray said.
“Now we will have more precise CPR training because everyone will get to use them more.
“We have nippers who do their basic resuscitation certificate through to adults.
“So there are a lot of people who use them.”
Bilinga Surf Life Saving Club promotes itself as a traditional surf club, which does not have any gambling facilities.
“As a club that relies solely on community support, we are very grateful for the ongoing support and generosity of Westpac,” Ms Bray said.
“We have to apply for every grant that comes up but we are proud to be a traditional club.
“Out of six or seven grants a year we may get one.”
Ms Bray said the club fundraised the old-fashioned way to keep the club operating.
“We have beach raffles during the season as well as trivia nights, but it’s getting harder because people work so much,” she said.
She said the club, again in line with tradition, was equipped with bunk rooms.
“Eighty per cent of our members are under 23, and a lot travel down from Brisbane, so the bunks are helpful,” Ms Bray said.
“Members can stay overnight before their shift or over the weekend.”
Westpac Bilinga executive manager Paul Lunney said the Westpac Surf Life Saving Equipment Fund program was in its first year.
“The fund was set up by Westpac to help support the grass-roots movement of surf lifesaving,” Mr Lunney said.
“We wanted to offer a tangible way for our branches around the country to support surf clubs in their local community.”
Mr Lunney said 75 equipment grants had gone to surf clubs across Australia, which meant almost one quarter of all surf clubs had received help.
He said the Bilinga club had won the grant on a basis of need.
“Westpac’s local branches had to apply for pieces of vital equipment on behalf of their local surf club,” Mr Lunney said.
“Applications were then selected to ensure a fair distribution around the country and for areas of most need.”