SEAHORSE NIPPERS CONTINUE TO MAKE WAVES

Since its launch in 2014 the Seahorse Nippers program has given children with disabilities and their families a dedicated program to learn water safety and surf skills.

Noosa Heads SLSC initiated the program, and you can already see how popular it’s become.

Three clubs from the Bundaberg area came together to deliver the program, for the first time in their collective club’s history. Launched in March and, with the aid of experienced and encouraging volunteers, the three-club initiative helped 14 participants learn vital water confidence and safety, all while enjoying the beach and beautiful coastline.

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You can already see the positive results.

Families gathered on the beach over three Saturdays, full of smiles and enthusiasm, to see their children learn and develop their confidence in the sun, surf and sand.

The children, aged 5-14 years, were buddied with a member of the club to complete games and training. Bundaberg SLSC junior activities coordinator, Janine Lester explains: ‘There are flags, obstacle courses, parachute games, wading games and opportunities to learn surf skills on a modified nipper board.’

With the loud cheers from their families, the participants navigated the activities, with the help of their buddy. 

Janine Lester said Seahorse Nippers is quite similar to many other junior surf lifesaving programs in the way it runs.

‘It’s all about inclusion and catering for each child’s individual needs in assisting them to participate fully in the activities,’ she said.

The dedicated volunteers provide a warm, inclusive and supportive atmosphere for the children to learn and try new activities.

Although the goal of the program is to promote the important message of water safety skills, there was no shortage of laughter, fun and enjoyment during the activities. 

The program has been launched at Elliot Heads SLSC, with Noosa Heads SLSC providing invaluable support in the lead up to the program’s delivery. Noosa Heads SLSC has the biggest Seahorse Nippers program in Queensland, catering for approximately 35 children, with Seahorse Nippers providing one of the many ways the club connects with the local community. The club provided guidance and assistance to see the program run successfully at Elliot Heads, and hopes to see the program develop further over time.

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FIND YOUR NIPPERS NEARBY

Nippers is the ideal way for kids to foster their love of the outdoors, all while meeting new friends and learning to save lives. Over time, our Nippers gain confidence in the water and learn to identify rips and hazards at the beach. As they progress they will also learn lifesaving skills such as surf rescue and CPR. At 13, Nippers are eligible to complete their Surf Rescue Certificate and start patrolling with Senior Lifesavers.
It’s easy to find your nearest Nippers program. Click here to find your nearest club.

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