Its a record!
An incredible number of little participants—109 to be exact— had a day of fun in the sun on the weekend at the Macksville-Scotts Head Surf Lifesaving Club’s first Nipper meetup for the 2017/18 season.
Lara and Gavin Jones were overwhelmed by the numbers and had a mammoth task in front of them organising and coordinating the day.
But, with the help of volunteers and the support of parents, the pair handled it with poise.
“What a cool Nippers crew... all 109 of you!! Biggest day on the beach,” the junior activities coordinator Lara said.
Volunteer Anna Walshe was taking photos on the day and was also astounded by the community’s interest.
“All sports in the area have been down in numbers recently, but this year we’ve had an amazing turn-out,” Anna said.
“This club is really trying to be community-oriented.
“And it’s been really proactive in catering to the littlies.”
Anna said that at the end of last year’s season the club made two significant investments in its future: the purchase a number of foam surfboards and a giant inflatable floating trampoline.
“The kids just adore it. It has a slide attached too so they can slip off into the water,” Anna said.
Founded in 1936, Macksville-Scotts Head Surf Life Saving Club is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the Nambucca Valley and has a tradition steeped in service to the community in its goal of zero preventable aquatic-related deaths in Scotts Head.
The Nippers range from 5-14 years-old and meet every fortnight on a Sunday during the season.
They participate in a variety of water and beach activities like flag-runs, beach sprints, board-paddling, swimming around cairns, and splash and wade events for the younger nippers.
The Nippers are also inculcated into surf safety and ‘slip slop slap’.
During the season members of the surf patrol will let off a dye bomb in the middle of a rip which disperses with the current and visually educates the children about the behaviour of rips.
The club will usually put on a barbecue for lunch making the whole day a fun family event.
Once Nippers turn 13, they are given the chance to sit for their surf rescue certificate and be initiated into the lifesaving patrol.
The club also supports young initiates to participate in surf life-saving development camps.
“We can’t wait to see all the MSH Nippers at the beach again and always look forward to welcoming new families to the club,” Anna said.
“We would like to acknowledge the hours of hard work that Gavin and Lara have put into the Nippers program and feel privileged to have such an amazing community supporting them.”
For more information about the Nippers or the Macksville-Scotts Head Surf Lifesaving Club, visit their Facebook page.