This week we spoke to Mark and Anne Snowden who are heavily involved with the local Surf Life Saving Club.
When did you first get involved in Surf Lifesaving?
After moving to Raglan we took the girls (only three of them at the time) to Nippers with Anne Gair in 1993 when the Clubhouse was at the harbour mouth and we used to travel the 3km down the beach by tractor and trailer, often losing a parent off the back as the ride was very bumpy and holding children on was a priority.
What is your involvement today?
After many years of looking after the equipment and building, Mark has retired, and now has the opportunity to take his grand children to Junior Surf on Sundays. I am still involved in Junior Surf as the Co-ordinator of the programme supporting new coaches and after Christmas, we will be running the tadpole programme for the under 6s. I also support the club as a member of the Management Board, representative on the Reserve Advisory and bookings officer for club events.
How much time does it involve?
What do you like about this aspect of your life?
I enjoy watching the learning happening for these young children and their parents and knowing that the knowledge we share will help keep people safe at the beach and in the water. We also have so much fun each week and smiles are always present at the end of the day.
Tell us about your family life when the kids were young?
Family life was full of participation in community events and sports activities with the girls all playing team sports on Saturdays and adventures to the beach on Sundays. We still say we travel in a pack and If you see one Snowden there’s probably another not far away.
Do you feel stretched by giving your time to these community causes or is that how you like it? What would you say to people considering getting involved?
I have come to learn that this is how I like it, volunteering is something you can’t do unless you really have a passion for the activity and for me it also needs to make me laugh, smile and share my time with others. I have also found that if you are unsure about getting involved jump in feet first and give it a go, that’s the only way you will find out what fits for you and you may surprise yourself and enjoy what you least expect.
Anne, You are well known in Raglan not only for Surf Lifesaving but also as a childcare teacher. I know I speak for many mums in the community who have felt so comforted dropping off little ones to someone that feels like an aunty or a family member. We could feel the love Anne – so much appreciation for that.
Tell us about your role at Magnolia Childcare now?
Definitely the Granny feel nowadays, I often get called Nana at work. My role change at Magnolia Tree Childcare this year has been from teacher to manager. This has definitely been a change of head space and an ongoing project to challenge me. I still have three days working with the children which absolutely delights me and I prefer these days to the office days. I am still excited to see what the day will bring each day with these amazing little people who teach us so much.
Number one tip for parents of children at the beach this summer?
Stay with your children even if you think the water looks calm and they will be okay. Swim between the flags always. If you are unsure ask the lifeguard on the beach for advice and don’t forget that sunscreen and hats for everyone, including yourself.