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Canberra children growing up hundreds of kilometres away from the coastline are able to participate in the popular Nippers program thanks to one club’s determination and desire to make beach education a priority.

With many of its members hailing from the region, Broulee Surfers SLSC wanted to ensure that the people of Canberra and surrounding area had access to world class beach education in their home town.

This partnership has been enthusiastically embraced by surf lifesavers and the wider community, and has also earned acclaim as the 2018 Surf Life Saving NSW Community Education Program of the Year, which was announced in Sydney last weekend.

“Last year we had such a huge response we had to turn people away because of the demand from Canberra people wanting to learn more about safety, and for their kids to get more confident in the water,” said Wendy Law.

“It’s fantastic to win this award and to celebrate with the wider lifesaving community.”

During several supervised visits to the beach, the club not only trained the children but the parents as well.

As a testament to the success of this program, 20 parents and older siblings of the rookie Nippers have completed their Bronze Medallion or SRC.

Thanks to its beautiful beaches and proximity to the nation’s capital, the Far South Coast has always been a popular place for people looking to escape the brunt of summer, but the lack of opportunities to learn ocean awareness among the youngest members of the population has always been a source of concern.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the Broulee Surf Club,” said Steve Corcoron whose children are eager participants in the program.

“By being able to do training and learn some of the skills and knowledge in Canberra, and then travelling to the coast every third week during the season to work alongside their peers, is making a huge difference to accessibility for surf lifesaving in the area,” he said.

Although the challenges of distance still remain, one thing is for certain, Broulee and Canberra are forming a strong bond.

The 2018 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly supported by Port Authority of New South Wales with almost 400 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathering at Dockside, Cockle Bay to celebrate the season that was.

Broulee Surfers SLSC has opened up opportunities for beach safety education for families in Canberra and beyond 

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


Wednesday 29 August 2018