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Wainui Surf Club fundraising for the future

The committee at the Wainui Surf Life Saving Club (Wainui) established their endowment fund at Sunrise to help the small club become less reliant on sponsors in the future.

Salve Zame, Wainui Chair, says every funding round is a struggle, constantly applying for grants up against many other worthy charitable causes for the limited funding available locally.

He added that the funding landscape in New Zealand is changing. “Many sports, not just surf life saving, have come to rely on gaming machine grants and these are by no means guaranteed.”

“As the tide of public opinion turns we will continue to see the decrease, if not eradication, of this type of gambling. While we agree this will be the best outcome for our community as a whole, the result will be an even more competitive environment when trying to obtain funding through grants.”

“With the support of the Sponge Bay, Wainui and Makarori communities we hope to build a strong endowment fund, so in the future the club won’t be so reliant on sponsorship.”

Committee member Miriam Allan, says they have worked hard to improve the finances of the club and that the endowment model (the fund is invested forever and inflation proofed with the surplus investment income granted back to the club every year) will ensure the hard work done so far is protected.

“Whenever anyone donates time or money to the club, they are effectively giving to the entire community of people that use our beach. As a committee we respect that and want to be smart about making the most of the generous support we receive.”

Miriam works for Coates Associates, who have made Sunrise workplace giving available to their employees. Through workplace giving she makes regular donations every fortnight to the Wainui fund. “Donating a little bit every pay day is an easy way to donate, it’s also great because I get an immediate tax benefit. This means the government pays 1/3 of my donation every time I make it - marvellous for me and the club.”

Dion Williams, Wainui Coach, and his family have been part of the Wainui family for long time. He believes that even though they draw from a small pool, there is a great culture at the club and they train good lifeguards with excellent local knowledge of the conditions at Wainui. “We’re a small family focussed club. It’s a good place to be, the kids love it and want to be part of it.”

“My goal is to make our kids fantastic in the ocean. It’s unreal to get the kids to the point where they can look after themselves in the water, and also look after others that enjoy the beach.”

Belinda Slement is on the committee and also works for Surf Life Saving New Zealand. Belinda grew up across the road from the club and as an adult has been involved in surf life saving in Hawkes Bay and Wellington. “Wainui is a challenging environment, there are a lot of rips and big swells, so we need the best lifeguards we can possibly have patrolling the beach.”

Belinda added that rejoining the club when she returned from Wellington was a “no brainer”, she wanted to use her knowledge and skills to help in whatever way she could. She likes that her contribution benefits the whole community through a safer beach for her daughter and other families to enjoy.

Salve was a late comer to surf life saving, only becoming involved when his own children started attending nippers. He achieved his Surf Life Guard Award as an adult and regularly patrols at Wainui.

He has been impressed not only with the water safety skills they are taught, but also the valuable life lessons from the competitive nature of the sport. “Competing in surf life saving competitions, both locally and at a national level, has taught my kids they have to work hard to get good results. It has taught them to be winners, but more importantly also how to lose.”

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise Executive Officer, is impressed with the long term vision of the Wainui committee and understands their concerns about funding in the future. “The establishment of their endowment fund will ensure the club has a regular source of income in the future which they won’t have to apply for. It will be a secure and guaranteed source of income every year, which will benefit the club more and more as the fund grows.”

All donations to the Wainui Surf Life Saving Club Endowment Fund will be invested, protected and grown to keep up with inflation. The surplus investment income will be returned to the club each and every year forever.

© Scoop Media

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