The region’s beaches have been splashed with pink as children threw on their rash shirts for the launch of the Hunter Surf Life Saving (SLS) Nippers season, which started on Sunday, 8 October, with the support of Newcastle Permanent.
Open to children between the ages of five and fourteen, the surf skills program teaches CPR and lifesaving techniques, surf safety, as well as rescue experience, all while completing fun surf sport activities.
Newcastle Permanent Chief Distribution Officer, Paul Juergens, said the customer-owned organisation is proud to support Hunter SLS and help make the Nippers program more affordable for families.
“Water and safety skills are extremely important to have, and even better to have from a young age, so it is fantastic to see there are more than 2,500 nippers enrolled so far this summer,” Paul said.
“The pink rashies have become a classic part of Aussie beach culture, and it’s wonderful to see the community’s future surf lifesavers in training in that unmissable colour!
“But more than being iconic in the sand and surf, the rashies promote sun safety, as well as providing great visibility in the water for parents’ peace of mind.
“I always know summer’s right around the corner when I start to see the nippers sprinting down on the sand.”
Hunter SLS President, Henry Scruton ESM, said the Nippers experience is tailored to ensure children get the most out of the program.
“Nippers helps children build up their confidence, have fun and meet friends, while learning important skills to keep themselves and the community safe at the beach,” Henry said.
“Little ones as young as five can join the program, which at that age is all about having fun in the sand and becoming familiar with the water.
“By the time kids reach 13 and 14, they are developing the skill base required to become a qualified surf lifesaver.
“Hunter SLS has had a wonderful partnership with Newcastle Permanent for more than 40 years, helping us deliver services to all beachgoers – from our newest Nippers all the way up to those of us who remember seeing the map on the bottom of the canoe pool at Newcastle Baths!”
Nippers is run across the 13 Hunter SLS clubs from Catherine Hill Bay to Tea Garden Hawks Nest.
Every year, Newcastle Permanent invests almost $1.5 million into local communities through its partnerships, employee donations, volunteering and fundraising programs. This includes support for every SLS club from the Central Coast to the Queensland border.
IMAGE | Nippers kicks off at Redhead beach.