Conceived just over three years ago the Sydney Wet ‘n’ Wild Nippers program is an opportunity for young children aged 6-12 who live away from the coast to participate in Nippers.
Over three seasons the program has introduced 600 youngsters to the basics of surf safety and life saving skills with some past participants deciding they want to take their experience further and have joined Surf Life Saving Clubs.
One of the key strengths of the program is that it’s not only the children who are able to learn these important messages. Mum and dad are invited to participate as well with some taking the step of becoming Age Group managers and furthering their own qualifications so they can help out.
In 2016/17 the program will run for 15 weeks from October through to March and will mirror the experiences of their coastal peers as the young Nippers are introduced to the skills and techniques that will ultimately keep them safe in the water.
The season concludes next March with a carnival at the Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney Park at Prospect where the Nippers will be able to compete in traditional surf carnival events.
NSW Acting Member Services Manager Brett Quince is anticipating a bumper season.
“For decades Nippers has been an iconic part of Surf Life Saving and it’s fantastic that we are able to take it to new places and introduce water safety and life saving skills to children who live away from the coast. We are very grateful that Wet ‘n’ Wild has been such strong supporters of this initiative.”
“The skills that we teach these children are skills for life and it’s wonderful that the whole Surf Life Saving community has embraced the program. We invite volunteers from our coastal clubs to provide water safety and share their knowledge with the new Nipper parents. I’m sure these friendships will continue,” Mr Quince said.
One of the highlights of last season’s program was the opportunity for the Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney Nippers to visit North Steyne Surf Club and participate in a Nippers session with their coastal peers.
The highly successful visit was so enjoyable that it is hoped to add four visits to the schedule this season so that the Western Sydney youngsters get a chance to see what surf lifesaving is really about in a more typical beach environment.
Friday 14 October 2016