Volunteers rewarded for hard work at the 2018 Ironman Australia event in Port Macquarie

Volunteers make Ironman possible.

It is not a question but rather honest fact from the 2018 Ironman Australia organising committee. 

At a celebration night on June 7, representatives from many of the volunteering groups who dedicated much of their Ironman weekend to helping athletes along the race, came together one last time.

As part of the celebration, the groups were presented with donations for their help and support over the Ironman period.

Michael Reid said that this year Ironman Australia has donated back a record amount of money to volunteer groups who helped with the event in May.

“We are so proud to be able to donate over $60,000 to the Port Macquarie-Hastings community as a direct result of volunteers helping out over the Ironman events,” Mr Reid said.

“The Ironman event does not happen with out the help of hundreds of volunteers who give their time.

ON THE TRACK: Ironman volunteers were out before dawn and after dark helping the athletes.

ON THE TRACK: Ironman volunteers were out before dawn and after dark helping the athletes.

“Everything from packing the aid bags to helping at the different stages and catching athletes at the end and ensuring they are okay.

“Nothing would happen with out our volunteers.”

Among the volunteers who gathered, was the St Columba Anglican School’s Interact Club who have decided to donate their funds to a worthy cause in the community, according to club president Ronan Laird.

“As a club we love volunteering but a lot of our projects are within the school, so something big like Ironman is great because it means we can get out into the community and help with something big,” Ronan said.

“We have been volunteering for a great number of years and each year we donate to a local organisation or charity we think is important.

“This year we are giving our money to the Pediatric Oncology Donation Fund at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

“We decided to donate to the fund because they do great work helping young people and their families who are going through cancer treatment.

ON THE WATER: Volunteers were also on the water keeping an eye on the atheletes.

ON THE WATER: Volunteers were also on the water keeping an eye on the atheletes.

“It was important to us to donate to them because anyone can get cancer including us and our friends and we wanted to give back.”

Co-medical director of Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, Simon Ross said the 300 strong medical volunteers played a vital role throughout the event.

“We had professional doctors, paramedics, consultants, physiotherapists, nurses and a strong contingent of students who are studying in the medical field help out over the weekend,” Mr Ross said.

“It is great for us because it allows all our medical people to get out in the community and give back but we can also use it as a great training exercise in mass event medicine.

“A lot of the medical team work in a hospital setting so it was also great to test our skills in a pre-hospital setting and allows the students to see how working in a team in real life would work.”

Jock Garven, principal of Lake Cathie Public School said the money they have received will go back into helping the school.

“We are very much a rapidly growing school so the money will be split between funding more sports equipment for the students to use and go into our heart research fund,” Mr Garven said.

“As a school we are really passionate about ensuring our students see they are part of something bigger and an event like Ironman where the whole community gets behind the event shows them that.

“In Lake Cathie pretty much every aid station had parents and children on it cheering on the athletes and it was just such a great day.”

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