THE Forrest Beach Surf Life Saving Club is gearing up for the start of the 2021/22 surf lifesaving season with its club sign-on and come ’n’ try day this Sunday 5 September.
New and returning members will get the opportunity to take part in beach and water activities with those giving it a go for the first time, getting a taste of what surf lifesaving is all about.
Essential lifesaving skills, such as water safety, first aid and resuscitation are some of the valuable skills that are taught through the Forrest Beach SLSC’s Lifesaving Programs, including their popular Nipper program.
Club Junior Activities Chair, Helen Kaurila said: ‘If you’re thinking of introducing your child to lifesaving, then our Junior Activities (Nippers) program is for you.
‘Our Nippers program is opened to children aged between five and 13 years of age and is an amazing activity for growing a child’s confidence, knowledge and skills in the beach environment.’
The Surf Life Saving Queensland Nipper program is focused on play, participation and fun and offers an educational pathway through the delivery of the Junior Development Resource Kit.
The program is designed to ensure children have fun at the beach while participating in lessons that help them gain valuable surf awareness and beach safety education with the goal to develop them to become a knowledgeable participant in both lifesaving and sport.
Mrs Kaurila said: ‘As children progress through the various age groups, they will undergo lessons in wading, running, swimming, board paddling and lifesaving skills including working towards resuscitation and first aid qualifications.
‘Practising these skills allows children to compete in club, regional and state surf lifesaving carnivals representing their clubs.
‘Not only do children have fun and meet new friends they become part of an iconic organisation that has served the Australian community for over 100 years.’
In 2019, Surf Life Saving Queensland celebrated 50 years of Nippers and has seen countless children move through the program, such as the likes of Ironmen Champions, Trevor Hendy and Shannon Eckstein, Rugby League Football player, Matt Gillet and Australian Olympic Swimmer, Susie O’Neil, all who speak fondly of the personal growth, development and opportunities that Nippers gave them.
Mrs Kaurila said: ‘Nippers has always provided a wonderful pathway for our members.
‘We have many inspiring young people who started in Nippers and have gone on to be very successful in lifesaving and in their personal lives, and we as a club are very proud of that.
‘It’s very encouraging to see our Nippers make their way up through the ranks to become lifesavers and patrolling members in our club, many of which now have their own children in Nippers.’
With her husband, Luke and two daughters, Dana and Louise also involved, Mrs Kaurila said there is something for the whole family to be part of.
She said: ‘There are many supporting roles for families with a child involved in Nippers.
‘Nippers and their families are a key component to the sustainability of surf clubs within Surf Life Saving, through becoming lifesavers themselves or the involvement of their family members.
‘Traditionally, our Nippers and their families have been a very big and strong part of our club and has really shaped the club we are today.
‘We encourage all ages to come and have a try on Sunday. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 85, there’s something for everyone.’
The Forrest Beach Nipper program will run every Sunday from 9 to 11 am at the Forrest Beach SLSC.
FORREST BEACH VOLUNTEER LIFESAVERS START BEACH PATROLS
The start of the 2021/22 Volunteer Patrol Season starts on the weekend of Saturday 18 September and will run through until the start of May 2022.
The Forrest Beach SLSC will be patrolling the beach Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm.
Bronze Medallion and Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) training will soon get underway. For those interested in joining these squads please contact the club on firstname.lastname@example.org