False Bay Surf Lifesaving Club are headed off to the Lifesaving World Champs in Adelaide, Australia. They are striving to achieve a gold medal in the relay event. The club will be sending 2 teams aged between 19 and 30 years of age, four men and two women. All have been involved in lifesaving for many years, have a love for the ocean and a passion for safety in the sea. Previous accolades include placing 5th overall as the best club in the world at the Lifesaving World Championships in 2016.
“We receive no financial funding or support, and to show people that you can become something from nothing, we raise all the required money ourselves to perform our jobs as lifesavers,” said Taariq. They will be competing against international athletes that have huge financial support and top facilities in which to train. The False Bay Team will not let this deter them, their passion and love of the sport have been the driving force behind their success. “As a team, we are inspired by each other, motivated by the competitive edge, the self-gratification of the sport and the rewarding benefits in helping others and keeping people safe from the dangers of the sea. As we approach the Championships we feel both excited and grateful to have the opportunity to compete against the best and to hopefully become the best. We are going with a positive mind-set as we have put in all the work that we needed to put in, to take on the world!” said Taariq.
Each member had a story to tell when it came to what inspired them to become a lifesaver.
“I was afraid of the ocean and was at the beach one day when I saw lifesavers at the False Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. I decided then that I wanted to address my fear of the water,” said Ryle De Morny.
“I started out learning to surf. My mom then encouraged me to look into lifesaving from a social aspect as a means of role modelling. She was a single mom and wanted me to have some male role models in my life.” said Andrew van Diemen.
Simon Harris has also been a big inspiration for them as he is a legend in the sport and was consistently a winner for many years. He is well known for being mentally and physically on top of his game for the 20-meter dash; which is the realm their team specialises in. “Training at a level to become World Champions is very demanding on our bodies. Fatigue and soreness comes with the high intensity training we go through. To keep fit we have to adhere to a strict regime which includes speed, track, weight, endurance and all-terrain training. Recovery is the most important aspect of an elite athlete and Deep Heat helps this process by speeding our recovery to push for another day.” said Taariq Hassiem.
“A big challenge we face as lifesavers is the public’s lack of safety awareness around the ocean coupled with language barriers. Boxing Day is always very challenging as there is a lot of alcohol consumed and people who behave irresponsibly. There is also a lack of support during busy holidays due to a shortfall of visible policing on the beaches.” said Chevan Clarke.
We wish the team best of luck at the World Lifesaving Championships, Keep Going!