A little local knowledge goes a long way
SURF LIFE SAVING: A lot of coverage is given to professional stars of Surf Life Saving, but it pays to remember it all started with nippers.
Kawana Surf Club will hold its annual Nipper Sign-On day later this month for youngsters who wish to try surf life saving for the first time, or more experienced hands looking to return to the water this summer.
Kawana Waters club stalwart Nikki Firmin has had her children involved in the club for some years and said the junior program was vital to the club's ongoing success and viability.
She also said for those living in the Kawana region, knowing the surf conditions was paramount to an enjoyable day the beach.
"You'd like to your kids to be able to learn where the rips are, especially if you live in the Kawana area,” she said.
"Kawana is a massive stretch of beach and needs to be worked out. If you get the kids down to nippers, it's a great way to get started.”
The Surf Life Saving Junior Activities Program has been active in Queensland since 1967 and now boasts more than 10,000 members statewide.
Surf Life Saving has a clear set of objectives to "encourage and support” its youngest members, including to provide the best possible lifesaving experience, providing opportunities for members to participate in enjoyable activities, ensure juniors are safe on the beaches, develop teamwork skills and camaraderie and to promote social and physical growth in a healthy and safe environment.
Firmin said that was something her children had learned all too well over the years.
"With nippers, it's not just kids here that are from Kawana,” Firmin said.
"It's allowed (my son) to have school friends as well as friends from nippers. We've got kids from Mountain Creek, Grace Lutheran and all parts of the Sunshine Coast.”
The programs run at Kawana do come at a cost and Firmin will again be on the promotional and collection trail during spring to raise vital funds for equipment ahead of summer.
Last year the club hosted a successful "Up the Tower” promotion, in which local identities climbed a life saving tower at Kawana Shoppingworld and had to reach a certain amount of donations before they could come down.
"The surf safe appeal has changed their dates, and it's not from October 24 through to October 30,” Firmin said.
"We'll be going to Kawana Shoppingworld with tin collections, another Up the Tower promotion, we'll host another car show and another movie night.”
Sign-on is on Sunday, August 28, from 9am-noon at the Kawana Surf Club, Buddina.