Lifesaving club recognised for community work

Frank Solomon, left, received the award from the Western Cape Sport Confederation President, JP Naude.

A Hout Bay surf lifesaving club has received an award for using sport to build communities.

The Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation presented the Sport Community Builder of the Year Award to the Hout Bay Surf Lifesaving Club during a dinner at the Century City Conference Centre on Tuesday July 23.

The confederation is an NGO affiliated to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

The Hout Bay Surf Lifesaving Club was started by Frank Solomon and Bruce Tedder, both from the Llandudno Lifesaving Club.

Mr Solomon is currently out of the country, but Mr Tedder, the chairman of the new club, said: “Llandudno have been very involved with the new club. It is an awesome initiative and much needed to keep the very popular Hout Bay beach safe.”

The club, has been running since the beginning of the year, working with young people from the Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.

Mr Solomon and Mr Tedder secured a short-term lease on Public Works land where they converted containers into a clubhouse.

According to Mr Tedder, they now want to get a long-term lease so they can build a multi-purpose structure to act as the clubhouse, storage room, first aid rooms, showers and more.

“This award shows the club’s commitment to the community and to its role as a serious lifesaving club,” he said

The club has taught pool lifesaving to 15 youngsters from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu and it plans to start a nipper programme in October.

“Quite excitingly, eight of the 15 passed the test and they will now receive jobs and earn some extra money during the busy summer period, acting as lifeguards at the pool,” Mr Tedder said.

Hangberg’s Chadwin George bumped into Mr Solomon nearly two years ago, while talks were still under way to form the new lifesaving club.

“I was still freshly in the game of lifesaving, and, for me, all his ideas were amazing because then I finally got to do something I’ve been interested in since a small boy,” he said.

Mr George is now a dedicated member of the new club.

“As a member, receiving an award is amazing and shows me that I really can achieve something in life. Also it keeps me motivated to carry on doing what I’m doing. I am very much thankful for the opportunity that has been given to me by Frank and I really appreciate all the hard work and patience he has got,” he said.

Mr George said club was “something that could be life changing for lots of kids from the local communities of Hout Bay”.

Ward councillor Rob Quintas praised Mr Solomon and his team for their work with Hout Bay’s youth and for giving them a love and respect for the sea and the environment and for creating a safe space where they could “learn and keep fit and healthy on weekends and over holidays”.

The Western Cape Provincial Sports Confederation did not respond to questions by the time of going to print.