Budget Direct's wave of support for local surf club

December 19, 2006

One of the Sunshine Coast's biggest employers, insurance provider Budget Direct has announced its fervent support for the Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club (KWSLSC) through a unique two-year sponsorship agreement.

Complimenting Budget Direct's financial contribution to the KWSLSC, the Company's 280 staff at its Contact Centre in Kawana will be called upon as volunteers to assist at the surf club's numerous events and State Titles held in 2007.

Budget Direct's Call Centre Operations Director Gerry O'Shaughnessy said he was excited about the positive synergies the agreement would create between the two organisations, as well as the encouraging message it would send to the greater Sunshine Coast community to become more actively involved in their local surf club.

"We have always been avid supporters of the Kawana and Sunshine Coast regions and believe that we could help the community in more ways than just providing jobs. Through forming this alliance with the KWSLSC we aim to help improve the levels of beach safety and awareness for Sunshine Coast residents and tourists, as well as support the club with its many events and encourage its upcoming sportsmen and women in surf lifesaving," Mr O'Shaughnessy said.

In February this year, KWSLSC won the World Championship Title held in Victoria and currently has approximately 150 active volunteers that monitor the beach and offer many helping hands at the club's events throughout the year.

KWSLSC's President John Thorpe said, "With the club set to host the Queensland State Senior and Junior Titles on March 1 2007 next year, Budget Direct's Contact Centre employees will provide the extra volunteer man-power we desperately require to successfully host the event... We are very grateful of Budget Direct's enthusiasm towards the Club and we see this as the beginning of a longer-term relationship."

Mr Thorpe said that as part of the sponsorship agreement, KWSLSC'S Chief Training Officer would provide every staff member at Budget Direct's Contact Centre with Surf Awareness Training.

"Since Budget Direct's staff are about to play such a vital role as volunteers, we feel that it's important they are prepared for the many scenarios that occur on the beach.

"Training will be conducted in groups of fifteen, where they will be given tips on beach safety such as how to identify and avoid a 'Sweep' or 'Rip', as well as how to remove themselves and help others out of dangerous situations in the water," Mr Thorpe said.

About Budget Direct

Budget Direct is part of Budget Holdings Limited. Internationally, the group administers more than two million policies and $1 billion in premium income. The Australian business currently issues more than 5,000 policies to Australians every week, offering customers security and long-term protection. The Budget Insurance Group controls the largest direct personal motor vehicle insurer in South Africa and one of the largest personal lines insurance intermediaries in the United Kingdom.

Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd underwrites Budget Directs policies. Auto & General is also part of Budget Holdings Limited and is an Australian insurance company authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). The company also holds an Australian Financial Services License.

For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or mediaenquiries@budgetdirect.com.au

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.