TORRIDGE District Council leader James Morrish went to Westward Ho! to meet members of the Bideford Bay Surf Life Saving team, which finished fourth in the National Indoor Surf Life Saving event in Cardiff. They also discussed the club s hopes of creating

TORRIDGE District Council leader James Morrish went to Westward Ho! to meet members of the Bideford Bay Surf Life Saving team, which finished fourth in the National Indoor Surf Life Saving event in Cardiff.

They also discussed the club's hopes of creating better facilities for the young people.

The club's achievement in the national championships was a remarkable for a club which is much smaller than many of its competitors, with only 20-30 members taking part in the competition.

The group, which was originally started by Adam Whateley and Sonia Cox , and now has a total of around 120 members aged from seven to 16.

Adam said: "The aim is get children confident in the sea, so they can get themselves - and others - out of trouble, if necessary. They learn important life-saving skills, get fit and have loads of fun in the process."

Councillor Morrish met Adam, chairman Geoff Spencer and volunteer Paul Coles to discuss how Torridge District Council could help the group going forward.

He said: "To come fourth in a national competition is a very special achievement by a team of very committed young people. My congratulations to those individuals, their parents and coaches, who all put in many hours of hard work. I hope very much that in the next 12 months or so we can assist the Bideford Bay Surf Life Saving group to develop their plans for better facilities here and create a new and real benefit for young people in this wonderful community of Westward Ho!"

Adam said: "We had a very frank and refreshing conversation with Cllr Morrish, which I believe could open the way to Torridge District Council working with the club to deliver a real legacy building for the area. Though a relatively small club we attract members from all over and have around 10 children who are in the Top 10 in the UK for various events related to surf-life saving training - a great achievement. Our plans for a new clubhouse can only strengthen that, give the children new skills for life and help them give back to society through life-guarding."

For more information on the Bideford Bay Surf Life Savers contact Adam Whateley on 07899910067.

PIC: Volunteer Paul Coles, Cllr Morrish, club chairman Geoff Spencer and Adam Whateley with club members.