2018 has been an exceptional year for the club. Our success has been led by our fantastic committee and coaches but would not have been possible without the amazing support we’ve had from parents, the community and local businesses of St Agnes.
We remain the largest club in the country with over 600 members. We have introduced a new on-line membership system which is making life a great deal easier for everyone, improving group management, member communication and compliance with data protection legislation.
Our youth coaching has reached capacity with 40 children in every school year from 1-7 and 40 more in years 8-11. Every session has at least 1 level 2 coach, 1 lifeguard, 2 level 1 coaches and 2 key parent helpers.
Participation in our adult sessions increased this summer. The new equipment, funded by Sport England, which included new SUPs and longboards really helped to add variety to the sessions and inspire new people to get involved. We will resume coaching in the pool in January.
Competition attendance at Nipper and Junior events remains low but we did get a small team to the nationals this year. The surf boat crew continues to make the club proud with our ladies’ teams coming a fantastic 1st and 3rd nationally and our men’s team coming 2nd at the UK open.
Assisted by funding from the Big Lottery People’s Project, this year Andy extended our “surf cadet” outreach programme to give 420 children from schools across Cornwall the opportunity to experience surf lifesaving over 3 days. This is probably the biggest effort on surf lifesaving outreach ever seen on the county and it was run entirely by volunteers! The event was very successful but was probably not sustainable at this level. We may take it back to 200 children for 2019.
Our lifeguard patrols at Easter and October remain very successful and were supported by around 300 hours from our volunteer lifeguards this year. The patrols are officially recognised and audited under the UKSAR and SLSGB frameworks. We remain one of the only volunteer patrols in the country.
With Jamie and Paul now qualified as trainer-assessors, the club can examine many awards internally. This year we trained 14 new coaches, 7 first responders, 12 lifeguards. 34 of our Juniors took SLSGB awards including 8 golds!
The building remains fit for purpose, the biggest issue is storage but we hope to work with the parish council on this. Our open-club policy and large membership leads to the changing areas getting a bit feral sometimes. Next year we will be employing a professional cleaner for an hour a week in the summer to address this.
Thanks to the lottery grants, Pinmar-Hendy donation and good community support for our fundraisers we have an amazing range of equipment for members to use. Some more modern rescue boards will be available to our Juniors for the 2019 summer season. The additional equipment to support the lifeguard patrols including a patrol vehicle and first responder bag will have a transformational effect on beach safety. Concerns were raised in the summer about equipment being left on the beach but the beach community really stepped up to hassle those responsible, by the end of the summer the problem was much reduced.
Committee meetings remain well supported. We have reduced their frequency to bi-monthly with greater delegation to sub-committees / divisional leads. We didn’t transition the club to an ICO or achieve Clubmark status in 2018 but these remain goals for 2019.
The club is financially healthy. Running costs are sustainable and growth in membership has enabled us to increase our non-ringfenced reserves to £10K.
Events were well supported this year: Dog Racing, Bawden Rocks Day and the Surf Club Party were well attended and all raised significant funds for the club. More adults are getting involved in running elements of these events which is really helping to share the burden. We didn’t run the Coastathlon or the Buntabout this year and would love to find some passionate people to take these on in 2019.
We’re very proud of the achievements of all of our members this year but there are a couple worth special mention:- The St Agnes (IOS) – St Agnes (Cornwall) surfboat crossing.- Tassy Ward’s British pool record.- Brooke & Steve Instance’s rescue that lead to them appearing on Saving Lives at Sea.- Iona Fisher’s rescue that lead to an interview on Radio Cornwall.- Our ladies surf boat team becoming national champions and gaining an invite to Biarritz.
Everyone who voted to support our big lottery project: Safer Beaches for All! Mark at Piran Surf for keeping our surf cadets warm in Iglu Wetsuits, The Cornish Pizza Company for donating a proportion of pizza sales to the club, Finisterre for providing great equipment for our patrols, St Agnes RNLI Lifeboat & Lifeguards for helping the club with training and patrols, Martyn Ward who dedicated so much time to help us run our lifeguard patrols. The Cornwall Mark Foundation for their generous donation. Radio Cornwall for giving us the opportunity to talk about beach safety. Luke Hendy and Pinmar for the equipment fund. The Lascelles Family for helping us fundraise at the Rioja challenge in memory of Chops and for putting up with our delay in getting the shower built! The St Agnes hotel and Pete Mitchell for hosting a quiz night in aid of the club as well as the local businesses who donated prizes. Schooners for letting us party on in their restaurant and Sean Downing for generously waving the marquee deposit at the last minute! The Driftwood Spars and Peterville Inn for hosting our meetings. Breakers Café who supported our hungry lifeguards with reduced price food. St Agnes Bakery and Carr’s Butchers who provided burgers and bread and all those parents and helpers who toiled to fuel our fundraising engine – the club BBQ for over 56 hours! Jean Blunsdon for letting us use the beach and everyone who carried a board off the beach they didn’t use.