Lifesaving club gets set to hit the Gorleston surf

Tuesday 5th April 2011

Children as young as ten will be able to learn lifesaving skills this summer, while having bags of fun on Gorleston beach.

For the second year running Gorleston Surf Lifesaving Club (GSLSC) is organising a beach club to teach children and adults of all abilities sea safety skills, including first aid and qualifications in swimming and paddle boarding. They can also learn how to be a lifeguard and take part in competitions.

The sessions, which include lots of beach games, take place every Monday and Wednesday evening, with beginners from 5.30pm to 6.30pm and intermediates from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. There are also open sessions every Sunday, depending on ability.

Membership costs just £20 per person and sessions are just £2 per person. The cost covers use of equipment and wet suits, and insurance from Surf Lifesaving Great Britain, with which GSLSC is affiliated.

There’s a free open day at the start of the season on Saturday April 16th, meeting at the GSLSC’s clubhouse at Gorleston Ravine. Two-hour taster sessions start at 10am and 1pm, and at 12 noon there’s a barbecue.

A lottery grant of £3,600 and support from NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney have enabled the club to upgrade its facilities and invest in new equipment. It now has fully equipped changing facilities with hot showers and storage space, new paddleboards, surfboards, wetsuits and lifesaving training aids.

Marten Payne, who works for the National Health Service promoting healthy lifestyles for young people, has helped to coordinate activities with the help of Gorleston lifeguards Lizzy Ames, Rory Abel, Daniel Buck and Jack Ollington.

Jack said, “We’re hoping for a really big turn-out this summer. The youngsters are going to have terrific fun while learning how to be safe in the sea. We’ve got superb new facilities and a great bunch of friendly instructors to keep everyone safe and fully entertained.”

Gorleston Rotary Club has helped fund the club’s leaflet and poster campaign – Serious Fun on the Beach! – which GSLSC is taking to schools and youth organisations throughout Great Yarmouth.

Gorleston Rotary Club president, Sunder Gopaul, said, “This is the type of community activity we love to support. It’s an excellent example of young volunteers giving their time and expertise to help other young people learn valuable new skills while having fun and building real friendships.

“We’re also delighted that they’ll be using Gorleston’s greatest assets – its beautiful beach and sea. We sincerely hope they get a lot of takers and have great success.” 

Jack Ollington said statistics from the RNLI in 2008 revealed that Great Yarmouth had one of the highest levels of non-swimmers in an English coastal town. 

  • 39% of school-age children didn’t meet the national swimming standards at key stage 2 or 3.
  • 41% of all under 16s had not ventured into the sea, at home or abroad.
  • 46% of under 35s had never swum at their local beach.


Issued for Gorleston Surf Lifesaving Club by TMS Media

For further information please contact:

Gorleston Surf Lifesaving Club

Marten Payne on 07766 205746

Jack Ollington on 07891 451957

Lizzie Ames on 07971 124914

Gorleston Rotary Club

Philip Gunn on 07939 124633

TMS Media

Steve Scott on 01493 662929

Action from last summer in Gorleston