Scott Morrison may have many more pressing things on his mind these days, but his enthusiasm for the community event he started in 2008 is undiminished.
The Prime Minister and MP for Cook officially launched the 2019 IMB Bank Cook Community Classic - the 12th time the event has been held - at Elouera Surf life Saving Club.
The gathering was attended by representatives of the Bate Bay surf clubs, community groups and sponsors.
Mr Morrison took the opportunity to congratulate the Rotary Club of Caringbah, a strong supporter of the event, on winning the Rotary Club of the Year in District 9675.
The Cook Community Classic combines a friendly surf carnival between the four Bate Bay clubs, an ocean swim for all-comers and beach handball tournament, with a family fun carnival in the surrounding beach and park.
This year's event will be on December 1 and, once again, it will be held at North Cronulla beach and Dunningham Park because of the redevelopment of the Cronulla surf club.
The launch of the event marks the beginning of fundraising and, in the weeks ahead, representatives of charities and not-for-profit community groups will be at shopping centres around the shire and St George, including Westfield Miranda, selling raffle tickets.
The annual event has grown from four participating organisations in 2008 to more than 70, and they have raised close to $1.2 million.
Participating groups can raise money through the raffle, community carnival and a gala ball.
The gala ball, which is held every two years, is being sponsored by returning partners, the Rotary Club of Caringbah and Sylvania BMW.
Mr Morrison, the official patron of the classic, thanked community groups and sponsors and declared the start of fund-raising.
"It's fantastic that the classic has grown so much since its inception in 2008," he said.
"This year we have a record number of community organisations and corporate sponsors involved, all contributing to making this classic our best yet.
"The classic is now in its twelfth year and this success is only made possible by the hard work of many like-minded people coming together to ensure its success.
"When we approached the Bate Bay surf clubs to get involved back in 2008, we never envisaged where it would take us.
"I thank those clubs for their tireless commitment to the success of this event."
Mr Morrison singled out Anita Pryke and Greg Allum (Wanda), Peter Carney (Elouera) and Brian Ferguson (North Cronulla), who have been volunteer committee members since day one.
"The classic would not be possible without the support of our business partners," he said.
"From its inception IMB Bank, Qantas, Australian Hotels Association, Sydney Airport Corp and Rotary Caringbah have been loyal sponsors.
"Sutherland Shire Council have also lent their support by providing facilities and access to parks.
"Other sponsors include Sylvania BMW, Woolooware Bay, Cronulla Sharks Ruby League FC, McDonald's Sutherland Shire restaurants, PAYCE, ANSTO, Deicorp, Westfield Miranda and F45 Training.
IMB Bank chief executive Robert Ryan said the classic was "a prime example of how a grass roots community event can grow and evolve each year, helping so many in the community".
"IMB Bank has supported this event since its inception 12 years ago as part of our ongoing commitment to make the communities in which we operate better places to live.
"The IMB Community Foundation is celebrating its 20th year in 2019 and has donated grants worth more than $10 million to 700 community groups in that time.
'So, we understand the meaningful and lasting changes that events and programs like the Cook Community Classic have on the quality of life for the people living in the shire and St George."
More information on how community organisations can become involved: Call (02) 9523 0339 or visit: cookcommunityclassic.com.au