Awash with pride for our vol­un­teers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

AF­TER our ef­forts last year on the two wa­ter sta­tions for the Chal­lenge Cairns event I was once again ap­proached by the event man­age­ment team and asked to co-or­di­nate the vol­un­teers for both sta­tions again this year.

For our sup­port and as­sis­tance we re­ceive fund­ing for our club.

We use the funds we re­ceive by putting them to­wards our annual Christ­mas Show “Carols Un­der the Stars” which is a free con­cert staged in Port Dou­glas.

On each sta­tion we had 30 vol­un­teers who worked tire­lessly all day sup­ply­ing drinks and re­fresh­ments to the cy­clists.

Quite a few of our vol­un­teers from last year were so mo­ti­vated by the ex­pe­ri­ence they de­cided to com­pete this year.

Hand­ing a bot­tle of wa­ter, a banana or an en­ergy gel across to a cy­clist who usu­ally doesn’t slow down to less than 20km/h is an ex­pe­ri­ence that can only be de­scribed as “ex­hil­a­rat­ing”.

Th­ese com­peti­tors are push­ing their bod­ies beyond their lim­its and know­ing we are there to as­sist them is in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing.

Our crew at Port Dou­glas Academy of Performing Arts are like a fam­ily.

Friends and strangers also turned up this year to vol­un­teer and I couldn’t be hap­pier.

A group of local ladies cy­cled out to Thala to vol­un­teer on wa­ter sta­tions and to cheer local fit­ness trainer Nathan Sayed as he com­peted in the Iron­man event.

Oth­ers, at both sites, were sim­ply walk­ing past, saw what was hap­pen­ing and of­fered their as­sis­tance.

At Thala, a mother and daugh­ter who dropped by to say hello stayed the en­tire day.

Hon­estly, I urge ev­ery­one to vol­un­teer for this event one day as the ex­pe­ri­ence is un­for­get­table and in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing.

This event brings thou­sands to our re­gion. This year the num­bers dou­bled as the event was so suc­cess­ful last year.

With the luck we had with the weather yes­ter­day, I am ex­pect­ing the same thing to hap­pen again next year.

This year I be­lieve many lo­cals went to the ef­fort of turn­ing the road clo­sures into a fun ex­pe­ri­ence and had par­ties by the street to watch and cheer the com­peti­tors.

Great idea - that is what we need to con­tinue do­ing for this event.

I am hop­ing to be re­cruit­ing vol­un­teers again next year, but in the mean­time I would like ar­rived and I ex­plained he gave me no choice but to call the police.

He said he wouldn’t start the mu­sic at 5pm but wasn’t mov­ing any­thing, and that they had no right to expect to have the cer­e­mony in that area as they didn’t live here.

I im­me­di­ately called the police and they were there in min­utes. Sergeant Mead­ows and an­other po­lice­man came and spoke to him and con­tacted the coun­cil.

In the end he al­lowed us to move one speaker, but left his ta­ble and chairs right where they were.

It was a very un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion as more and more guests ar­rived.

I had to call the bride and ask her to de­lay her ar­rival for 10 min­utes as we had a prob­lem but were get­ting it sorted.

I was ab­so­lutely and to­tally stunned by this per­son’s nasty at­ti­tude and be­hav­iour, par­tic­u­larly as I’d known him for so long. to send a huge thank you to all who vol­un­teered, gave up their time and worked in­cred­i­bly hard, you de­serve a medal.

I would also like to con­grat­u­late all of the com­peti­tors as your ef­forts were out­stand­ing, es­pe­cially the local com­peti­tors and of course Nathan Sayed who I be­lieve com­pleted the Iron­man in 12 hours and 25 min­utes - un­be­liev­able.

He him­self has a stand at the local mar­kets and surely re­lies on the in­come from tourists to sup­port him. Tourism not only drives his car, it pays his bills and puts food on his ta­ble.

I won­der how Port Dou­glas will sur­vive, and more im­por­tantly what kind of im­pres­sion this leaves on the minds of 75 peo­ple who came here for this wed­ding.

We all want peo­ple to have a mem­o­rable and happy ex­pe­ri­ence in Port Dou­glas and talk about it to oth­ers so they will come and en­joy the beauty of Port.

But it doesn’t mat­ter how beau­ti­ful a place is, if they are treated with con­tempt by lo­cals they won’t want to come back and even worse will think we’re un­pleas­ant and don’t care for the tourists.

For ev­ery­one’s sake, treat oth­ers as you would like to be treated and we will all win.

Well-earned break: Iron­man vol­un­teers at Thala Beach on Sun­day

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