Children train at Warilla Beach yesterday at the Surf Life Saving Club’s open day. Evander Windon, 7, takes a ride with Warilla Surf Life Saving Club vice-president Steven Krinks on one of the club’s dune buggies at Warilla Beach. Picture: ADAM McLEAN
Surf lifesavers are poised for a busy season, with declining membership leaving fewer volunteers to share the workload.
At Warilla Surf Lifesaving Club, volunteers may be required to patrol up to every second weekend unless new recruits can be found to fill the roster, according to club vice-president Steven Krinks.
The club was among more than 70 across NSW to host an open day at the weekend, in a bid to engage with their communities and build membership.
Mr Krinks believes the decline in volunteers is cyclical, with parents bowing out of the club once their children come of age and move on.
He also suspects people don’t have the time to volunteer as they once did.
“I suppose it’s the era we’re in,” he said.
“It does make it difficult for us to retain members when they’re having to volunteer so much.”
The club’s leaders are aiming to recruit another 30 patrolling members before December.
Patrolling members at Warilla fell from around 155 to 95-100 in the past four years.
Club president Alan Beveridge believed the decline reflected changing work patterns.
“People used to work 9-5 and not on weekends – that’s all changed now,” he said.
Yesterday’s open day included live music, children’s activities, a barbecue and surf rescue demonstrations.
Other clubs to host events included Bellambi, Bulli, Coalcliff, Coledale, Fairy Meadow, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park, North Wollongong, Windang and Wollongong.
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