Authored by: Bob Breen OAM, Photos: Colin Morley and Bob Breen
Silver Salties is a remarkable group embodying the essence of fun, friendship, fitness and community connection. Their unwavering support for the Seniors (Boaties Board and Ski) and Juniors (Nippers) programs at Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club is admirable. With their youthful spirit and zest for life, this group of seniors has found a unique way to stay actively engaged and connected with the younger generation through their love for the ocean and passion for surf lifesaving. Their infectious enthusiasm has created a bridge between generations, fostering a sense of camaraderie and enjoyment of the beachside lifestyle.
The Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club was one of the first clubs to establish a Silver Salties program four years ago under the leadership of an 82-year-old veteran member of surf lifesaving clubs since the 1960s, Colin Morley. The Silver Salties have become an integral part of the Club’s community. They do coastal walks on Mondays, starting at the Club House at 8:30 am. A chair aerobics class is upstairs at the Club House at 830 am on Tuesdays. The Salties hit the surf on boogie boards at 830 am on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. There is a roster of Salties who put together BBQs for Boaties and Nippers activities on weekends. They also put on a BBQ for the Northern Beaches Christmas Carols event.
The Silver Salties understand the importance of mental wellbeing, safety and emotional support. They provide a safe space for seniors to enjoy physical and social activities, fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness with a sense of humour. The group enhances safety by training in CPR and First Aid and being aware of how to care for each other if there is an accident or sudden health event. Sue Neil, the Woolgoolga Surf Club’s Training Coordinator, helps to ensure that Silver Salties are competent to apply CPR until help arrives.
The Silver Salties are committed to making a positive impact through their service to the community, love for the ocean and building lasting relationships. They exemplify how a community can thrive when people of all ages come together with the shared purpose of remaining physically active in the Mid-North Coast’s wonderful climate.