Central Coast Program A Lesson In Beach Safety

In the last 12 months the Central Coast’s Beachsafe Program has been delivered to over 9000 students with 60 of the 68 local primary schools expected to have taken up this program by the end of the year, and now the program has achieved state level recognition after earning the Community Education Program of the Year Award.

It is a huge program encompassing all areas of beach safety and includes the Community Rip Awareness events, Summer Surf Schools, Surf Survival Program, International Visitors Surf Awareness Program, and the Surf Fun Day.

The Surf Fun Day is “on the beach” program designed for Primary Schools and children 8—13 years, delivered during Term 1 and Term 4 at Toowoon Bay, Terrigal and Umina Beaches. The program teaches children surf safety and sun protection whilst also showing them how to enjoy the beach safely.

Over 3,500 students participated in 2015/16, a record looking likely to be broken next summer.

A Community Education Program has been run through the Branch since 1999 but has enjoyed significant growth over the last three seasons.

“We’ve been working very hard with the community to stop drownings on the beach and as we’ve said previously, zero swimming drownings on the Central Coast which is a massive effort for our people,” said Surf Life Saving Central Coast Branch President Stuart Harvey.

“It’s one of our goals and is part of our strategic plan. Community Education is very big and we thank all our supporters who get behind us to deliver the education programs.”

A key innovation in the last year which has attracted widespread pride the development of three surf safety television commercials that have aired on NBN Television and four radio commercials featuring the voice of Trevor Hendy promotion various surf safety messages to the Central Coast community.

Underpinning the entire program is the philosophy that educating the community is an essential way to improve safety, and hopefully lower drowning rates on Central Coast beaches.

“Success is seeing zero drownings and also having kids come to the beach and enjoy themselves using the simple beach safety messages like ‘swim between the flags’,” Mr Harvey concluded.

The 2016 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly presented by Stramit Building Products. Over 350 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around NSW gathered at Sydney’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel for a night of celebration.

Mon 15 Aug 2016