Adopt-A-Nipper Initiative A Roaring Success

The Entrance SLSC almost doubled their annual intake of Nippers with the introduction of a new program that was so successful it has been crowned Initiative of the Year at Saturday’s Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence.

Increasing Nipper numbers has been an ongoing struggle for The Entrance for at least a decade, and being a lower socio-economic area there was widespread concern that children weren’t learning the skills to keep safe in the water.

Last October, the club was approached by Gaye Crispin from Social Innovation Architects who wanted to know how the club could be assisted after she heard that sand and rock erosion was becoming a significant problem for the club.

“It was a challenge to get the local businesses involved but once they came on board they played a crucial part in getting the program going, and obviously we’re delighted with the success,” Mrs Crispin said.

After meeting with Glenn Clarke and Warren Envard the ‘Adopt –a-Nipper’ program was born. A local principal was extremely supportive of the idea and 25 kids would eventually take place in the program which commenced in December.

What it involved was local businesses each adopting a nipper and covering the cost of registration.

“There were certainly a lot of talented kids there who have never really had the opportunity to do something like this before. Cost has really been a factor, and we just felt it was important to do everything within our power to teach them skills they can use for life,” Mr Envard said.

The program had a number of challenges – the weather and the fact some of the participants had never been taught to swim, but overall was very well received.

“It was a shock when we learned just how many children in the area can’t swim very well especially when you think water is so much a part of our local geography,” The Entrance SLSC President Glenn Clarke said.

“Some will come back and join Nippers, others won’t it the nature of the beast.” Looking ahead a website has been created an animated commercial is in post-production and will be launched next month.

Central Coast Life Saving has been so impressed with the initiative they eventually hope to roll it out across all clubs.

The 2015 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly presented by Stramit Building Products. Almost 350 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathered at Sydney’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel for a night of celebration.

For a full list of all the winners and to see photographs from the night please visit the SLSNSW Awards of Excellence Event Page or our social media channels

Photograph - Warren Envard, Gaye Crispin, and Glenn Clarke after The Entrance took out the 2015 Initiative of the Year at the Awards of Excellence ceremony.

Mon 31 Aug 2015