Clubhouse stays afloat over three decades

Children can join the club as nippers from the age of 5.

The Big Bay Surf Lifesaving Club was founded in 1982 by George and Alan Zondagh, John Morkel and Harold Larsen after they convinced the Blaauwberg Municipality to let them turn a small boat shed at Big Bay beach into a clubhouse.

Back then, the club was known as the Blouberg Surf Lifesaving Club and as it grew, the founding members mortgaged their homes to keep it afloat, according to club spokeswoman Mandi Amery.

The old clubhouse saw many renovations over the years, and after the Big Bay development took off, a new clubhouse was built and the club was renamed to the Big Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.

In 2006, the club was registered as a non-profit organisation, and the current clubhouse was opened by then councillor, Ian Neilson in May 2007.

Children aged 5 to 14 can join the club as nippers, competing in various lifeguard competitions.

Right now, the club relies on community donations and volunteers.

“Everyone at the club does it on a volunteer basis, and we are trying to create more interest in the club. We are always in need of more volunteers and equipment.

“We are very lucky to get volunteers who give up their time to assist. They give up Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and various other family holidays to serve and keep our community safe from drowning as well as administering first aid on our beaches,” said Ms Amery.

The club’s fund-raisers help it cover its costs including entry fees for competitions.

“At times, our lifeguards in full kit stand at the robots in the area with tin cans – these guys are raising funds for our club.

“They are the dedicated lifeguards of Big Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. We ask residents to please support them,” Ms Amery said.

On Tuesday September 24, the club will have a Heritage Day Potjiekos competition at 10am. It costs R350 to enter a team in the fund-raiser if you want to take your food home, otherwise its R100 and the team’s food will be sold at the event. Contact Nicola Rautenbach at 082 298 3862 for more information.

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