MEDIA RELEASE - Council’s Lifeguards dive into the challenge to support sick kids

Sutherland Shire Council lifeguards are a familiar sight to local beachgoers as they undertake the challenging work of saving lives across much of the Bate Bay coastline.

But now Council’s dedicated lifeguards are turning their sights to tackling a different challenge, diving in the deep end and churning through thousands of laps in their spare time while raising funds to brighten the lives of kids undergoing lifesaving cancer treatment.

While they already spend countless hours in the water responding to emergencies on our beaches or honing their lifesaving skills, 24 of Council’s lifeguards have committed to collectively swimming 500km at Council’s Leisure Centres and local ocean rock pools, with an aim of raising $5,000 this February.

The funds will be donated to children’s cancer charity the Starlight Foundation as part of their month long ‘Starlight Super Swim’, billed as the country’s biggest charity swimming challenge.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce said the challenge came as the latest in a long series of charity effort undertaken by Council’s lifeguards, with each carried out above and beyond the arduous work they conduct keeping our community safe.

“Our lifeguards are out performing heroic work on our beaches all year round, but through their efforts raising funds in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, they will also make a huge difference in the lives of kids doing it tough,” Mayor Pesce said.

“In previous years we’ve seen them hit the surf to raise funds in support of the fantastic work carried out at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, with their latest efforts tackling the Starlight Super Swim just one of many ways they support our community away from the beaches.

“There’s a tremendous amount of good will out there in our community for our lifeguards and the incredible work they do. I’d love to see our community rally behind them – remember, every dollar you contribute will help provide a bit of cheer to kids in need.”

Council’s Ocean Safety and Lifeguards Team Leader Bede Elphick said that those taking part in the challenge each aim to clock up some serious kilometres swimming in Council's Leisure Centres and ocean rock pools throughout the month of February.

“We currently have 24 lifeguards eager to participate in the Starlight Super Swim challenge, and we anticipate each team member will swim 20 kilometres or more over the next four weeks,” Mr Elphick said.

“We have set personal fundraising goals of a minimum of $200 each, which would bring our total to $5,000. However, we invite the community to join us in tracking our progress and supporting our fundraising efforts, helping us to exceed this goal.”

The Starlight Super Swim commenced on Thursday, 1 February, and will conclude on Thursday, 29 February. Local residents are encouraged to show their support for Council’s Ocean Safety and Lifeguards team by visiting their dedicated fundraising page, where they can monitor their progress and make a donation to the cause: