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It’s a real ripper to be a Nipper – Forrest Beach celebrates end of season awards

The under 6 age group, Piranhas, proudly displaying their certificates and medals presented by coaches (L-R) Chris Bradshaw, Luke Murray and Richard Scobie.

THE Forrest Beach Surf Life Saving Club has celebrated the achievements of their Nippers at the club’s annual junior awards presentation.

As they wrapped up the 2020/21 nipper season, Forrest Beach junior and senior members came together for a fun morning at the beach, taking part in traditional lifesaving games, such as the pillow fight and chariot races, as well as fun relays.

The day was topped off with a barbecue lunch and awards presentation hosted by the junior club captains, John Austin and Mariam Hall.

Club junior activities chair Helen Kaurila said the annual junior break-up always proved to be a fun day.

She said: ‘It’s a great opportunity for our club to come together after such a busy season and recognise the vital part our nippers and their families play in our club.

‘It’s important to celebrate our juniors and all their hard work and commitment that went in to gaining their age-appropriate lifesaving awards throughout the season and acknowledge the major award recipients.

‘Not only are our junior members integral for our future active membership, but by providing our nipper programme we are ensuring that the next generation learns valuable life skills and knowledge which one day might save their life, or even perhaps the life of another.

‘That’s what it’s all about.’

The club recognised many award winners across a number of areas of the club.

Under 14 junior John Austin was recognised as the Junior Club Person of the Year for his outstanding spirit, leadership and attitude throughout the season, always providing a helping hand with water safety at training and carnivals, and his commitment to his first year patrolling the beach.

Club captain Luke Kaurila presented the Club Person of the Year award to John Austin.

The Most Promising Lifesaver went to under 13 junior Louise Kaurila for her achievements in the area of lifesaving, which included gaining her resuscitation certificate and participation in the surf rescue and pool rescue championships.

The Most Promising Lifesaver, Louise Kaurila, presented with her award by director of lifesaving Lenny Chiesa.

Male and female Senior nipper club champions went to two under 14 juniors.

David Schofield was named Male Senior Nipper Club Champion for his strong results in the club championships and carnivals, including the pool rescue competition, while Mariam Hall was honoured as the Female Senior Nipper Club Champion for her state representation in the Queensland Country and North Barrier Branch teams and the highest results from club championships and carnivals combined.

Club President Tony Lahtinen with Male and Female Junior Club Champions, David Schofield and Mariam Hall.

The Junior Nipper Club Champion went to under 10 junior Billie Lahtinen for her outstanding performance at carnivals and highest points gained at the club championships.

Club President, Tony Lahtinen presented his niece, Billie Lahtinen with her Junior Nipper Club Champion trophy.

Encouragement Awards were awarded to under 11 junior, Nalini Schofield and under 10 junior, Addison Bradshaw who both showed outstanding individual heart and spirit in their first season with the club and an eagerness to give everything a go.

Junior Activities Chair, Helen Kaurila, presented the Encouragement Award to Addison Bradshaw and Nalini Schofield.

All juniors were presented with their lifesaving awards including the Piranhas who were thrilled to receive a medal for their participation in the program.

Lifesavers in the making – Forrest Beach Surf Club Juniors were presented with their lifesaving awards at the Junior Club Awards Presentation.

After the uncertainty of 2020 due to COVID-19, the club was able to start the season as scheduled in September last year, without little interference.

Mrs Kaurila said: ‘We’ve been very fortunate to run a near to normal season with all of our carnivals and youth development and team building camps able to proceed. 

‘We have a fabulous team of families who support our kids and it’s been great to welcome many new families to the club this year.

‘We are already looking forward to next season.’

The Forrest Beach Nippers will be back at it in September so keep an eye out for more information on how you can get involved.  

Nipper of the Week award recipients excited to receive their gift bags for their hard work during the season.

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