Beach Safety Program Finishes Third Season

The Sydney Wet’n’Wild Nippers have said goodbye to the wave pool for another year after finishing the third season of the program with a carnival at the iconic amusement park on Sunday.

Around 130 Nippers enjoyed the final week of the water safety program by competing in ironperson, board, flags, beach sprint and tug-of-war events in a carnival format that is similar to what their coastal based peers get to do.

Labor MP for Prospect, Dr Hugh McDermott who is also a member of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving visited the Wet'n'Wild Sydney Nippers Club for the season ending carnival. As a strong advocate for educating children and their families who are at a high risk of coastal drowning about the importance of surf safety, the MP was keen to get a firsthand look at the program.

“This is a very important program for Western Sydney. A significant amount of drownings on the coast involve people from Western Sydney so it’s very important to have Nippers out here,” Dr Hugh McDermott said.

“Whether they end up going in the surf or in swimming pools around the Western suburbs, it’s very important that they can swim well and are also able to help other children if they get into difficulty. Learning these skills is what is so wonderful about the program.”

Age Manager and parent of a Wet’n’Wild Sydney Nipper, Nars Lumba believes this program has been outstanding not just for him as an Age Manager but his 7 year-old child, Qwayn.

“To be able to achieve the outcomes of the program and still have fun means we did a really good job and the program is well set up and executed. Having been someone who didn’t grow up in Australia and the lifestyle here is all about the beach and the water so if you’re not educated or aware you’re putting yourself at risk,” Nars Lumba said.

“Being an Age Manager allows not only for me to participate in the activities but also be a model for my son.”

In his rookie year as a Wet’n’Wild Nipper this season, Qwayn thoroughly enjoyed his time in the program and has already learnt a number of surf safety messages.

“I learnt that don’t go out too far in the ocean on your own because if you do you might get swept out by a big wave and then you might drown which is very bad so that’s why you should actually know about water safety,” the 7 year-old said.

Nathan Wakefield, a fellow Age Manager and parent of two nippers says he loves the fact that the program builds the children’s skills every week.

“We have a great deal of fun each week - it’s a lot of fun with the kids every Sunday. You can see that their skills build each week from running on the sand and going in the water. Hopefully they can take those skills with them when they visit the coast,” Nathan Wakefield said.

“My family and I have been involved with the program since the beginning and this is my second as an Age Manager. We love it and we’ll be here as long as we can.”

Wet’n’Wild Sydney General Manager, Dianne Rigg said the Wet’n’Wild Sydney Nippers club has provided a fantastic opportunity for the kids of Western Sydney to get involved and learn about the importance of water safety.

“For the third year running, the Wet'n'Wild Sydney Nippers Club, through the assistance of Surf Life Saving NSW, has provided a beach within reach for hundreds of kids that live away from the coastline and helped build their confidence in and around the water,” Dianne Rigg said.

“The end of season carnival is a perfect way for the Nippers to put the vital water safety skills they’ve learnt throughout the season into practice by competing in a carnival program full of events including a beach flags, swim, board and an ironman for the older kids.”

Mon 21 Mar 2016