Bugger it all - life shouldn't be this busy for a self-avowed Beach Bum. I used to sing a song in Primary School with a verse that went, "...but I would rather be sitting on the beach all day - like the lazy co-co-coconut, co-co-coconut tree (repeat)". So you see, I found my personal mantra at an early age and it has served me well.
So why the whinge? Well, excuse this post's parochialism, but ever since Perranporth Surf Lifesaving Club appointed me as fund-raising coordinator (I think that was at the point in the meeting where I pulled some tinnies out of my man-bag to pass around) I - along with many other members - have been phone calling, e-mailing, hard hustling, sweet talking, lip smackin ... hang on - I'm off on a tangent there - well, you get the point. No company, corporation, friend or foe is safe from the cold call.
Amongst many other competitions, events and activities our focus at the moment is on finding funds to allow us to take a squad of our fittest and finest to the World Championship "Rescue 2008". This is, arguably, the most prestigious Life Saving competition in the world. This year, it's being organized and hosted by the German Life Saving Organisation on behalf of the World Association International Life Saving Federation (ILS). From 20th July to 2nd August about 4000 participants will take part in pool and beach competitions in Berlin and Warnemünde on the Baltic coast. Sitting back from all the effort needed to fund our team's participation, it's hard not to ponder on the reasons why, in this country in particular, we have to scrabble so hard to encourage and develop sport.
This isn't the time or place for an historical exposition of the development on surf lifesaving in the UK but whilst we are the spawning grounds for many of our professional RNLI Lifeguards, the actual clubs are designated "registered charities" and depend almost entirely on the support of sponsors and the local communities they serve.
When there's so much governmental angst over the vacuum of opportunity for youth, the "yob culture", the preponderance of pre-pubescent puddings wobbling round the streets (obese child hoods), the fragmentation of society - the stuff the chattering classes love to chew on - I reckon they could take a few pointers on social cohesion from your common-or-garden Surf Lifesaving Club - and funnel some of that cash away from wars us "subjects" never got a say in. Aye, dream on.
Whilst (successive) government
initiatives talking shops and the reality of sport development have traditionally gone together as well as a ship and an iceberg, it wouldn't be fair to bitch at Brown and co. without looking at how our own governing body, Surf Lifesaving GB, helps us, as local clubs to encourage and develop the sporting prowess of our members. After all, a significant slice of our membership fees helps keep it running. If anyone can suggest how they do this (insert pregnant pause) - feel free to comment.