Yamba Surf Lifesaving Club member Kalani Ives (middle) after winning a gold medal in the under-15 female 2km beach run at the NSW Country Surf Lifesaving Championships.
Yamba Surf Lifesaving Club member Kalani Ives (middle) after winning a gold medal in the under-15 female 2km beach run at the NSW Country Surf Lifesaving Championships.

FROM THE GRANDSTAND: Celebrating our lady lifesavers

WELL it might surprise many readers to know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of women being involved in official surf lifesaving clubs.

Most people in the grandstand all thought that women have been involved in this movement forever and it came a surprise that it wasn’t the case.

With Yamba being such an iconic, almost heritage, club (it may have been the first club outside the metropolitan area) it’s a very relevant topic.

Apparently the records show that in July 1980, it was agreed that women could then proceed to gain their bronze medal which is the baseline for doing club patrols.

Research also shows that women competed in events at Evans Head prior to the 1940s, with officials turning a blind eye to their success stories.

Before this time the ladies could only work in back office jobs or in the canteen/kitchen. My little bit of research suggests that the real reason it took so long to put them up there with the men was because they were not considered strong enough to complete rescues.

Now I can speak from experience as I have been rescued from the water on no less than three occasions. I swim like a stone.

One of those rescues involved a mature lady and I can tell you the last thing you worry about is the gender of the rescuer.

‘Me too’ had a different connotation when I saw that helping hand.

Fact is, women now actually outnumber the men as active members and patrol staff in many of our states. Events like the Coolangatta Gold now have women covering the same distances as men.

Iluka Cossacks in their 17-7 win over Tenterfield last season. The Cossacks started this year’s President’s Cup campaign with a win over SCU.
Iluka Cossacks in their 17-7 win over Tenterfield last season. The Cossacks started this year’s President’s Cup campaign with a win over SCU.

Rugby revamp at Iluka

I HAD reason to watch the first game of rugby union on Iluka’s new oval last Saturday. It was a great spectacle and the crowd was a record. The local side were jumping out of their skin to play after such a long time on the sidelines. The surface itself was quite heavy making it slow but that is to be expected for a while.

The locals won against the University team from Lismore 24-17. Lismore scored the first and last tries but the Cossacks generally dominated.

Looking at the team I noticed players from Iluka, Buccaneers and Lower Clarence Magpies. It means that if that hybrid game comes off at the end of the year we will have a team in readiness to take on the Upper Clarence team.

Coach Tony Wiseman does a great job with the boys. It a real assortment of talent and attitudes (not to mention postcodes) but they seem to thrive on his ‘entertainment’ mantra. Next week they travel to Byron Bay so that will bring its own issues.



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