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From Struggle Street To The Sea

By Duncan Horscroft on March 8, 2016 in News

Photo: Duncan Horscroft

Photo: Duncan Horscroft

For lucky locals, it’s hard to imagine life away from the beautiful beaches of the east, but there are many people a lot less fortunate than us, some of whom have never seen the beach at all.

In an effort to ease the burden of living in poor housing estates in the western suburbs, the Bronte Surf Club recently played host to a group of kids and adults from the UnitingCare Burnside community centre at Campbelltown.

The day at the beach for these battlers has been running for around 16 years and was organised by former Bronte Surf Club captain and Franciscan monk, Ken Cafe, along with Bronte Surf Club life member Col McDermid.

“Ken is a former member of our club and now lives in Thirroul, and it was through his efforts that this day started,” Mr McDermid said.

“The members of the group are from Housing Commission properties in the Campbelltown area, who really don’t get the opportunity to get to the beach.

“Our role is to make them welcome and see that they enjoy their day and remain safe whilst under our supervision.”

A group of young surf club cadets were on hand for water safety and they were outstanding in assisting the young kids, some of whom quickly overcame their fear of the water thanks to the fantastic effort from the cadets.

Unfortunately the surf conditions were too rough and the beach was closed, but the bogey hole was the perfect spot for a few lessons on the Nipper boards.

After a session in the water, the surf club through on a barbecue manned by a number of senior surf club volunteers and after lunch it was back in the water.

Shortly before it was time to go home, Bronte lifeguards Rod Kerr and Kris Yates came over and had a talk with the kids, and some of the mums couldn’t resist the photo opportunity with the Bondi Rescue stars.

“We often take a lot of things for granted in the Eastern Suburbs and don’t realise how tough some people do it,” Mr Yates said.

“Being able to put a smile on the faces of those less fortunate than ourselves, especially the kids, just makes everything worthwhile.”