Our annual training day for volunteers was held at Manly Yacht Club on Saturday, 10.9.16.

The day started early, with a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit while the room was set up as a conference with the computer available for slides, and Operations Manuals on the closest seats. As promptly as possible, Ken started his conversation about how our systems work, and in a most interesting way, showing lots of cute pictures as he went, demonstrated that to make our days enjoyable, safe and as fruitful as possible for both participants and volunteers, there are certain rules that must be followed. The session ended with a discussion about Man Overboard and the possible solutions to this scenario.

A very useful session for all of our volunteers.

Time for another cup of tea, and there were people arriving for the next session. While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, Lyn was busy selling the final tickets for the raffle of Lynette’s painting, which was to be drawn at 12.30.

By 10.15, the room was settled again, with the arrival of Craig, a physiotherapist who helps groups like ours, with some elderly volunteers, some youth, a variety of sizes and strengths, manage equipment and people with a disability. This commenced with some general instructions on how the spine works, and how to relieve some of the pressures that build up when we are in uncomfortable or posturally bad positions. Craig went on to explain about the neck and shoulders, and how to relieve pain and cramps.

By 11.00 a.m., we were downstairs in the boat room for lessons in lifting the boats down from the racks, how to use the trolleys, and how many people and what type of teamwork we need to do the lifting. I can see that we need some immediate changes in some of our operational procedures.

The team then traipsed down to the pontoon for a lesson in using the hoist to lift the keel in, then for lifting a person with a disability into and out of the boat. Again, we need to make some changes to the Operations Manual to make it more efficient and comfortable for everyone.

In the meantime, lunch was being set out on the verandah, and by the time the boats, trolleys and keels were put away, everyone was starving.

Before the hordes were fed, though, the raffle needed to be drawn, and Lynette had arrived with her painting to help with the draw. Craig held the hat….Lynnette pulled out a ticket…….Col Gregan won a bottle of wine of his choice.

Again, Craig held the hat, Lynette pulled out a ticket, Sally won the model sailing boat.

Finally, Craig held the hat, Lynette swirled the tickets around, dug down to the bottom, pulled out a ticket. It was Damian Ryan, Lynette’s hand surgeon who won the painting. Congratulations Damian, and thank you so much Lynette.

Our lunch was sourced by Helene, and it was absolutely delicious. Almost every scrap was consumed before our putter away volunteers finished the tidying up.

What a wonderful busy day we had, and a wonderful learning experience as well.  One we will remember for a long, long time.