The People of Manly Life Saving Club – ‘Hoodie’

Meet Craig Hood aka ‘Hoodie’… Craig is one of the stalwarts of our Masters crew. A clubbie for over 40 years, we asked Craig a few questions about himself. Hopefully this will help ‘Hoodie’ in his mission to meet and share a few stories with the entire Manly LSC family.

Why Surf Life Saving?
I’ve been in Surf Life Saving for over 40 years. I first joined Mentone Lifesaving club in Victoria because my then girlfriend, Wendy, was there and she was really good at mouth to mouth! In 1980 she became the first woman in Victoria to receive the SLSA bronze medallion and since then we’ve been at Woolamai Lifesaving Club and Mt Martha Lifesaving Club, where I’m a life member, and where all our kids did nippers. My grandchildren, the fourth generation (Wendy’s mum was a lifesaver too) has just started nippers at Mt Martha.

In 1975 I completed my Bronze and later my ARTC. For a long time after that I used to bemoan getting proficient every year but the older I get, the more value I see in refreshing the skills regularly.

I’ve always said that lifesaving is the perfect sport because; 1. It involves so many disciplines such as running, swimming, paddling, rowing etc., 2. The whole family can be actively involved and 3. it’s a community service at the same time.

For someone who has been in a sport for as long as I have, you’d think I would be famous for something but alas, I’m one of those jack of all trades and master of none. That in itself is pretty good though because, you can always slot into a team of any description.

Manly and Me:
In 2013 work brought me to Sydney and I transferred to Manly LSC. I did quite a bit of research on what club to join and the Manly masters program looked very active so the decision was pretty easy. It would be fair to say that I chose where to live in Sydney based on the lifesaving club I chose.

I came to Manly as a sprinter and beach flags competitor but Manly has a much greater emphasis on the water and I’ve really enjoyed having a go at all the water events.

Manly is such an iconic club, and the best thing is it doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a great culture. Also despite being such a big club, I was surprised to be made feel part of the organisation from day one (despite being Victorian). Now that I live only 100m from the club, I love that it’s open from 4am till dark.

Manly (Sydney) v Mt Martha (Melbourne):
There are probably more similarities than there are differences. At Mt Martha, I knew everyone whereas I’d have to be a member for another 50 years to meet everyone who belongs to Manly LSC. Mt Martha is also located on Port Phillip Bay so Manly’s surf is a major difference. Manly also has a training group every day of the week all year round, so that, really stands out. I also have to say that I love that Manly offers something for every level of athletic ability.

Final word!
As a young man I always, liked, “bite off more than you can chew – and then chew it” but now I live by the “Use it or Lose it” motto

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