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Lifeline Classic community surf, fun and support event is making a BIG comeback in 2022

Lifeline Northern Beaches, the non-profit organisation that provides free, around-the-clock crisis support, mental health assistance and suicide prevention services, is calling for entrants to its annual charity surf event, Lifeline Classic, on 18 September 2022.

Each year Lifeline Northern Beaches hosts its primary fundraising event, the Lifeline Classic surf competition, which consists of teams of four members each who take it in turns to ride the incoming waves. There is a women’s division and an open division. The event is a knock-out cup, with the winning teams going on to the finals.

Lifeline was badly affected by the pandemic, which restricted its fundraising and limited its ability to meet daily running costs. The 2022 Lifeline Classic event is vitally important to raise much-needed funds to pay for necessary repairs to their Balgowlah head office, as well as professional counsellors and other life-saving services they provide.

Lifeline Classic charity surf competition, which takes place on 18 Sept 2022.

“The Lifeline Classic this year is really important,” Lifeline Northern Beaches CEO David Thomas confirmed. “This is not an über-cool surfer event only for the top surfers. It’s for everyone! We have eight-year-olds on ‘foamies’, SUPs, and everyone from people dressing-up in fancy-dress to very serious competitors. It’s a community tag-team event that caters for all.”

The major community event is held at Queenscliff Beach. Visit the Lifeline Northern Beaches Life Line Classic website here. 

Steve Harrison, Lifeline ambassador and managing director of surfing competition organisers Global Surftag, said, “Lifeline Classic is a really fun day for the local community and a chance to raise money for Lifeline Northern Beaches.

“Teams have used different ideas in the past to raise funds. Swellnet did a board swap where people rocked up on the day and donated their second-hand boards. The surfing mums did face painting.

“Last year we had the Fairlight Boardriders, just a team of young blokes from Fairlight who’d never surfed before beyond a couple of training runs.

“For a lot of people who have surfed in this event it’s their first ever surf event. It also attracts people that don’t normally compete. Different types of teams all get together for the challenge. Enter a team of four and on the day you get to pick a local legend or a pro surfer to join it.

“Professionals like George Pittar, Sampson Coulter and Harley Ross, who are among the best surfers from Manly and Curl Curl area, have previously surfed in the event.

“It’s a lot of fun in the early rounds and then it gets a bit more serious as we move through to the semis and the finals.”

Why a surfing event ?

Why surfing and not, say, running? According to Lifeline Northern Beaches, the surf spectacular “is about celebrating our community’s love of the waves, and the role that surfing plays in our collective happiness and mental health.”

“An activity like surfing brings mental health discussions out into the open, to talk about it in a friendly, fun, non-threatening way.”

The event slogan is Good Vibes Save Lives.

“What we’ve noticed here at Lifeline is that two thirds of our callers are women, but three quarters of national tragedies are men,” David revealed. “So what does that say? Men are hopeless at communicating?! Well, I shouldn’t say hopeless. They’re trying, but they’re not the best at it.

“An activity like surfing brings mental health discussions out into the open, to talk about it in a friendly, fun, non-threatening way.”

David Thomas, Lifeline Northern Beaches CEO, and Steve Harrison, Global Surftag managing director.  Photo: Alec Smart

How to join

How does one participate in the Lifeline Classic, even if you don’t wish to climb on a surfboard and submerge yourself in the Pacific Ocean waves?

“You can form a team, sponsor a team, or fundraise through a team,” David explained.

“There’s many options if you don’t want to surf but want to be part of the event. The event is more a fundraising community initiative. You can hold a barbecue. In previous years, some teams hosted a band night. A lot of teams have raffles…

“If you don’t want to surf on the day, recruit a mate who wants to surf, or get your mom or your sister or anyone who’ll just go into the water on a boogie board or something like that.

“The surfing is not the main thing, the collective activity of getting together for team fundraising is what it’s all about.

David Thomas, Lifeline Northern Beaches CEO. Photo: Alec Smart

“But, if you are a keen surfer, or consider yourself a good surfer, join in, we’d love to welcome you into the competition. The first couple of rounds are pretty much what we call the ‘party rounds’, with fancy dress and so on. But when we get to the semi-finals and finals, you really see some top surfing action. And that’s where it all comes together and gets exciting.

“There’s four to a team. Top fundraisers get first pick of the pro surfers available to join their team on the day.

Visit the Lifeline Northern Beaches Life Line Classic website here. 

This is a sponsored article as part of a partnership between Manly Observer and Lifeline Northern Beaches.

If you want to help but are too time poor to participate in the Lifeline Classic click here to make a one off donation in support of the event and local services.

 

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