MID COAST SURF LIFE SAVING GROUP INC.
In the early 1990’s the Mid Coast Group of Clubs, namely Christies Beach, Port Noarlunga, South Port, Moana and Aldinga Bay, got together to jointly discuss problems they were having trying to raise money for their individual clubs. All clubs were approaching the same businesses with very little result as they only had their own individual club and their own members to promote any sponsor they got, additionally, they were individually too small to approach the larger businesses in the southern area. This collaborative approach meant that they could now approach large sponsors.
Out of these initial discussions came the Nipperthon, an annual event for Nippers throughout the State to compete in the same format as the Senior Ironmen but in a format suitable for their age group. This is now a recognised annual event in the Nipper calendar and is very much enjoyed by all those who compete. It was intended to develop more of these jointly run events by the Mid Coast with the funds disseminated equally amongst the clubs, but alas, this has not yet happened. It is still being discussed and worked upon but we haven’t come up with the right event yet.
During one of these meetings problems individual clubs had with the Council were aired and it was quickly realised that all clubs were experiencing the same sorts of problems and perhaps a collaborative approach was needed. The role of the MCG had begun and was quickly gaining momentum. Approached made to the Council as a combined Group of Clubs was well received, with the Council realising that this type of collaborative approach had some merit for them also.
The sad state of repair of many of our surf club facilities was also a problem and a joint approach to Council about this resulted in the development of plans to rebuild the Moana Surf Life Saving Club. This joint approach to Council resulted in the development of the existing formula for funding of the redevelopment of Surf Life Saving facilities throughout this State and the formulation of the Facilities Management Group to oversee these developments. Did you know that a representative of the Port Noarlunga Club management committee successfully argued to the Council the proposal for a new Club House for Moana. This is what the MCG is all about, using the expertise available to them to get the best result for all Clubs.
During this time there were many champions of the formulation of the MCG but none more valuable or more deserving of praise than two local Councillors Bill Jamieson and Artie Ferguson. These two guys worked tirelessly within the Council to raise the profile of Surf Life Saving Clubs and their role in the community and to gain some significant income for each club within the MCG. Without their contribution and lobbying we would still be struggling.
During this time also the MCG held a Showcase of Surf Life Saving at the Port Noarlunga Surf Life Saving Club when the Nippers from all five Mid Coast Clubs trained together at Port Noarlunga and this was aimed at local councillors and large businesses in the area to show them what the Life Saving movement was all about. This proved quite successful in two ways. The first was the first hand knowledge that the Councillors gained with the Nippers on the beach and secondly as we gained a major sponsor for the Mid Coast Group of clubs in Mobil Adelaide Refinery.
In February, 2000 the City of Onkaparinga council hosted a Planning Day for the Mid Coast Group of Clubs at the Fleurieu Visitors Centre. This proved to be a very successful day with much being achieved and the formulation of a five year plan for this group. The major part of that original plan has been achieved and as a result a further planning day is planned at the same venue for late May, 2004, to develop new goals and plans for the MCG in conjunction with the Council.
The Mid Coast Group’s Constitution was ultimately developed and approved and they became an Incorporated body in 2001.
Since the original “Showcase” at Port Noarlunga there have been two more held, one at Moana after the opening of the new club and the last one being held in conjunction with the Nipper State Championships at Port Noarlunga in 2004.
Since it’s formulation the MCG has achieved a number of things for the Mid Coast Group of Clubs, namely:
- The Nipperthon becoming an annual event in the Nipper calendar with it being held on a rotational basis at the five clubs. This event is planned and run as a combined MCG event.
- The successful negotiation of sponsorship with the Mobil Adelaide Refinery which has netted each club $15,000 dollars over five years and a total of $75,000 to the MCG over five years. We are quietly confident that this sponsorship may well continue even though the Refinery has closed down.
- The annual grant to individual clubs form the City of Onkaparinga from $2,500 to $7,000, (CPI increased each year). This has so far realised a total of between $180,000 and $200,000 so far.
- The MCG being instrumental in the formulation of the Facilities Management Group which oversees the redevelopment of Surf Life Saving Facilities within SA which includes representatives of the State and Local Government as well as Surf Life Saving South Australia representatives. This initiative is now being rolled out to all Surf Life Saving Clubs within SA and also nationally as the blue print to develop their own instrument to deal with Local Government authorities.
- The MCG being instrumental in the funds in the SL SA Trust fund being increased to $3m. This then allows Clubs to borrow from the Trust to fund proposed redevelopment of their facilities.
- The MCG becoming an incorporated body and the “go between” with the Council and the five MCG Clubs.
- The provision of a Joint Storage Facility for use by all clubs being constructed in conjunction with the City of Onkaparinga off River Road at Port Noarlunga.
- The building of a new Club House at Moana.
- The building of a new Club House at Christies Beach.
- The negotiation of new lease arrangements for Club Facilities with the City of Onkaparinga.
- A united front and a powerful voice when addressing issues effecting the Mid Coast Group of clubs and the Surf Life Saving Movement in South Australia.