Wollongong lifeguards have been named some of the best in the state, taking home bronze medals in the Bondi Lifeguard Challenge on Wednesday.
A team of lifesavers took time out from their day jobs patrolling the Wollongong coastline to compete in a relay-style event at Bondi, including a number of run, swim and board legs.
Many members of this year’s team had tasted success in the competition last year, helping Wollongong to a first place finish in 2013, but despite challenging surf conditions the team managed a third place finish this week.
“The last few years’ success goes to show the depth of talent here in the Illawarra, and shows we have lifesavers who are very passionate for their job and very competitive,” said Wollongong City Council beach services co-ordinator Jason Foye.
“Events like these are great to bond the guys together as a team, and to showcase the talent in the area.”
Lifeguard Beau Wheeler said the team was strong and put in a good performance, but was hindered by a difficult swell.
“It was still a good finish, and shows how good some of the guys down here are.”
Mr Foye said more than 80 lifeguards patrol Wollongong beaches from Stanwell Park to Windang in peak season, and actually offered more to the community than just beach safety.
“Lifesavers become like a liaison for the community to the area, as tourists often ask for recommendations or help around the local area,” he said.