Published on 20 May 2023

Volunteers – they're the heart of local sport

With more than 30,000 people playing sport in the City of Onkaparinga, local sports clubs rely on thousands of unsung heroes volunteering their time for the love of club and community sport.

They are part of the 2.9 million sports volunteers across Australia who give their time each year.

“We thank all club volunteers, whether they’re coaches, officials or administrators, who play a vital part in supporting sport in our community,” says Kane Harrison, Club Relations Officer at the City of Onkaparinga.

“Volunteers are at the heart of all local sporting clubs and activities. They help clubs but also make a huge difference to our whole community by supporting people to be active, helping them connect and – for clubs like surf life saving – making them safe.

“This National Volunteer Week is a great time for all of us to thank and recognise those who have put in the hours to keep sport alive right across the region.”

National Volunteer Week, held from 15 to 21 May, is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is The Change Makers.

Following a call-out to sporting clubs across Onkaparinga, four amazing volunteers from mid coast Surf Life Saving clubs are recognised below to mark National Volunteer Week.

If you have a volunteer from your club who you would like to recognise throughout the year through the council’s OACNET club e-newsletter, please contact Kane Harrison at or call 8384 0666.

Chris Lucas
Moana Surf Life Saving Club

Chris Lucas’s club journey began in 2014 when his eldest son joined the Nippers program at the Moana Surf Life Saving Club. Now all four of his children are involved in the club’s programs.

Chris has completed a Bronze Medallion and has been involved in various roles across the club, training children on a weeknight and Saturdays during life-saving season, arriving early to set everything up, and then taking to the beach to manage one of the age groups.

He has taken on the role of team manager for interclub and state carnivals and transports the equipment to and from the different venues. 

Tara Vivar-Hayes
Christies Beach Surf Life Saving Club

At just 15 years of age, Tara Vivar-Hayes demonstrates a heart of gold, the skills and determination to win surf life saving gold medals, and the commitment to demonstrate respect and give back to her club and community. She is a gold medal volunteer!

In Surf Life Saving senior state competitions, Tara has won gold medals in the Under 16 Flags, the Under 16 Beach Sprint and the Under 17 Beach Relay, while walking away with a silver medal in the Under 19 Beach Relay. 

This is only a small part of Tara’s commitment. She supports and coaches the club’s Nippers while also undertaking surf life saving patrols. In April this year, she supported the Southern Youth Anzac Vigil.

Barry Dellow
South Port Surf Life Saving Club

Barry Dellow has a long history with Surf Life Saving clubs, starting with Hallett Cove in 1988 and participating in the South Port, Robe and Beachport clubs. He has coached the McLaren Districts Under 17 Australian Football League Women’s team for five seasons and assisted with AusKick for the club’s juniors.

Barry and his family became involved with South Port through the children’s involvement in Nippers, with both parents – Barry and Rosalie – volunteering. Rosalie coordinated the club’s busy apparel area.

Barry has been active as a surf water-cover official (being in the water to watch out for the safety of Juniors), an inflatable rescue boat captain, a surf boat sweep (standing at the back of a surf boat and steering with a long oar), and coach. He has helped members achieve more than 20 surf life saving awards, including a silver medal for a first-year crew at the state championships.

Paul ‘Blue’ Bothwell
Christies Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Paul ‘Blue’ Bothwell has recorded more than 500 hours patrolling the sands of Christies Beach.

Paul is on the beach in all weather and seasons, working with all age groups from Nippers to Masters. He has a passion for volunteering and has years of expertise he can bring to the sand and surf.

In addition to local patrols, Paul’s passion benefits the broader surf life saving community, whether it’s as a carnival official for Surf Life Saving South Australia’s Surf Sports competitions, a referee for Juniors and inflatable rescue boats (IRBs), an area referee for Seniors and Masters competitions, or an official at pool competitions.


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