CLUB CHALLENGE: Sunshine Beach Surf Club president Warick Redwood.
CLUB CHALLENGE: Sunshine Beach Surf Club president Warick Redwood. Alan Lander

Surf club's renewal a big challenge

SUNSHINE Beach Surf Club president Warick Redwood has a big challenge facing him.

And he's relishing it.

He has 10 months left to finalise plans to rejuvenate the club, involving a complete re-build, with all the associated inconvenience and noise - while keeping the club trading.

On top of that, he has to find a way to accommodate the wishes of members, some of whom resist change in "their” club, while designing it in such a way to attract essential revenue-drawing functions while still ensuring there's plenty of space for traditional activities.

Add to that the need to expand on the club's multi-million-dollar views - without changing the club's character - and consider changed suburban demographics involving neighbours owning some of the most expensive residential real estate in Australia.

Then, consider the club's "good community citizen” requirement to portray itself as perhaps the last bastion of Sunshine Beach's laid-back surf culture, and its significant role in ongoing life-saving services.

And finally, pay for it all.

Simple. Not.

"The club was built in 1981. It's been added to over the years - but now it needs a lot of work and repairs,” Mr Redwood said.

He said the club was about to proceed with the work last February, to have it completed in the club's low season, before June's holidaying Kiwis arrive.

"We realised we were trying to rush the work with architects and builders, and financing - so we decided to give it another 12 months,” he said.

It didn't help when the entire air-conditioning system died just before commencement, either.

"We'll get our sponsors on board and start next February,” Mr Redwood said.

"We're not a big pokie venue - and we'll keep that evil to a minimum.

"We have a good number of functions a year, that provide an income stream, but they often clash with regular use of our limited space.

"But we do have a great function room upstairs, which we also use for training our 200 members in life saving.”

Mr Redwood said a new architectural design by local Andrew Bock would be completed this week, and building tenders would soon go out "and we are having a meeting inviting neighbours and stakeholders to discuss”.

He said the plans would "maximise our position and view but not lose our surf club character” and would appear as though the club was much bigger, "but it's the same footprint, just better use of it”.

And no "swirly RSL-type carpet designs”.

"We're a surf club.

"We are pivotal to the community of Sunshine Beach. We want to see ourselves as continuing to be part of that community.

"We need to offer a quality product and ensure a life-saving presence. To do that we have to have a new building.

"This one has not been worked on in 28 years. We need to come into the 21st century.

"It's going to be awesome.”


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