Gail dives into life saving

By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GAIL Williams was never one to sit on the sidelines and yesterday thanked the pioneering women of surf lifesaving for the opportunity to participate.

Gail has been involved with Tannum Sands Surf Lifesaving Club (TSLSC) since she was eight and went on to compete at state and national level.

It's been 25 years since women were first allowed to be involved in surf lifesaving and Gail said it still took time before women were completely accepted.

Gail was initially involved in Nippers and credits women like Viv Dhal, Desma Burns and Lesley King at TSLSC for developing the Nippers movement.

"As a senior I competed in first aid scenarios like boat accidents,'' Gail said.

Gail said the initial argument against women being involved was they would not be able to handle the physical demands of surf life saving.

But Gail and others have shown this isn't the case and women have a valuable role on the beach.

"It's very important handling the public on the beach,'' Gail said.

"You wouldn't be able to do it as well if it was just a malebased organisation.''

Again Gail thanked local women like Kathy Brookes and Jackie Thomas for being great role models for the competition side of lifesaving.

"Earlier on there would have been a lot of sisters sitting on the sideline because they couldn't compete,'' Gail said.

Gail has become the vice president of TSLSC and was grateful for the opportunity "to do what the guys have done''.



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