The volunteer red and yellow army returns to Coffs Coast beaches soon.
The volunteer red and yellow army returns to Coffs Coast beaches soon. Jason Dougherty

Surf life saving season on horizon

WITH winter activities coming to an end, many in the community now turn their attention to summer activities.

One such activity is surf life saving.

Surf life saving, an integral part of Coffs Coast life, comprises people of all ages who, having undertaken pre-requisite qualifications, are committed to performing a community service by undertaking approximately 40 hours of rostered patrol between the start of the official surfing season.

The season starts on Saturday, September 23, and finishes on Anzac Day next year.

The Nipper season starts after the September school holidays while Bronze Medallion courses are also due to start

With gender equality often rearing its head these days, it's interesting to see the long way women have come in surf life saving.

Before 1982, patrolling was the domain of male members only. Last summer 51% of patrolling members were females.

And it's not just patrols.

Using Sawtell as an example, women make up 60% of the club's executive and 45% of its committee.

Sawtell SLSC member Kerry Clancy has been president of the North Coast Branch for 15 years and has only recently relinquished her role as Surf Life Saving NSW's deputy president after six years of being the first female to hold that position.

So be you a starting nipper to an experienced hand, male or female, your surf life saving clubs would love your commitment to helping keep our beaches safe.