Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 3rd 2018 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018 - PAGE 21
Keeping our beaches safe
THE Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club’s Nipper
program began last Wednesday in picture per-
fect weather conditions.
Blue skies, warm temperatures and small
waves welcomed the 209 Nippers participating
in the two week program.
Lessons taught include water confidence
with swimming, being able to read the different
beach and wave conditions including rip identi-
fication and board paddling. Land based activi-
ties include sprints, beach games, the popular
knock out rounds of flags and basic first aid
The program is supported by volunteer Age
Managers and water safety members who are
assigned to each of the Under 7 to Under 13 age
groups. Many of the 55 water safety members
have come up through the Nippers program
and are keen to encourage and pass on their
knowledge to the kids.
Nippers Co-Ordinator, Lucy Chambers said:
“Our Surf Rescue Certificate course (SRC) is
running alongside the Nippers program for 19
members who are in the U14 age group. Class-
room theory lessons are completed each day
before water activities are undertaken. Partici-
pants will be assessed on 5th January allowing
them to be qualified as SRCs and to join the In-
verloch patrolling members on weekend duties.”
“We also have a growing number of Nippers
wanting to participate in the Junior Competi-
tions that Life Saving Victoria run. Six mem-
bers recently competed at Altona and training
sessions are continuing through the summer
period for any Nipper willing to experience the
competition aspect of Nippers.”
FOR more than 50 years, the Cape Woolamai
Life Saving Club has been teaching kids how to be
safe around water.
And after they received almost 400 enrolments
for their Nippers program last week, the club
knows the volunteer helpers will be making a big
difference in the local community.
The Nippers program, aimed at kids aged 6 to
13, started in the early 1960s when a group of life
savers started training their kids.
The program rapidly grew, with a focus on teach-
ing kids water confidence from a young age.
Kids start off by learning to put their head under
water and slowly move on to other skills, including
basic first-aid and resuscitation.
Cape Woolamai Nippers director Jason Close
said the program also teaches children different
“They learn how to do rescues on boards, on
rescue tubes and even just different objects you
find at the beach,” he said.
“Rather than going in the water yourself, some-
times you can pass someone a stick or throw them
something to catch.
“A lot of it’s also about having fun at the beach,
but having fun safely.”
Kids also learn about how to take care of the lo-
cal environment, by taking their rubbish home with
them and obeying signs around dogs on leashes.
Phillip Island Nature Parks ranger Graeme Bur-
gan also comes down to Cape Woolamai to chat to
kids about the environment.
“He brings along stuffed animals and snakes in
bottles, and just explains the local environment to
them and how they can look after it,” Jason said.
“There’s simple messages as well like not bring-
ing too much plastic down to the beach and the
dangers for local animals.”
Many of the kids who participate in the Nip-
pers program go on to become life savers at Cape
He said the program could not go ahead with-
out the help of sponsors Risk Partners, Twisted
8, Beach Style Renovations, and many other local
business and community organisations, including
local Lions’ clubs and the Phillip Island RSL.
PINP ranger gives a talk on local marine life to the Nippers participants.
Almost 400 Island nippers
Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club Nippers’ program trainer Emily Harrison chats with some
of the members of her group before heading out to the beach last week. m110118
Shoal’s in for
THE Wonthaggi Life Saving
Club has been teaching kids
crucial water safety skills for de-
In its 80th year, the club
continues to have a strong
volunteer base and a fun Nip-
pers program for kids.
On Sunday morning, follow-
ing the Cape Paterson Triath-
lon, kids were seen trying to
outrun one another in a game
The club teaches kids how to
be safe around water through
There around 40 ‘Nippers’
this year at the Wonthaggi
Life Saving Club, based in
And there’s more on the
agenda for the club, including
an upcoming open house.
On Saturday, January 13,
the club is inviting all mem-
bers – including former ones –
to celebrate its 80th year at an
open house event.
Wonthaggi Surf Life Saving
Club president Mark Scott said
it’s going to be a fantastic night
with plenty of familiar faces.
“We’re also trying to fund-
raise for a new building ‘cause
the one we have really is falling
apart,” he said.
“We want to keep the beach
front and merge the old hall,
the toilets and the rotunda into
a purpose-built facility for the
“Then people come down,
bring some fish and chips, and
sit on the balcony and just relax.”
Surf’s up for Wonthaggi
Gypsi Schmidt is staying at a local caravan park in Cape Paterson and comes down to the
beach to learn how to be safe around water by Wonthaggi Surf Life Saving Club volunteers.
In a game of ‘Flags’, Wonthaggi Nippers lie down on the beach and when they hear the
lifesaver yell ‘go’, they jump up and run towards the flags. There’s always one less flag than
the number of kids, so you’ve got to be quick! mm400118
Unfortunately Charlotte and Willow were eliminated in the
first two rounds of ‘Flags’ on Sunday morning. But with en-
thusiastic attitudes, they were looking forward to out-run-
ning their friends in the next game. mm410118
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