Bring on the nippers season

by Sonja van den Bosch

Bring on the nippers season

One of the things that I have always loved about Sydney is the surf life saving activities for kids on the beaches every Sunday morning in the summer season. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning for both the parents and especially the kids. I couldn’t wait to be part of this, instead of watching from the sidelines. Of course we first needed to have kids and when our twin boys were born, we still had to wait another five and a half years until they were old enough to join.

My boys at nippers

Finally last year my boys were old enough to become nippers at Clovelly beach. It has been one of the most fun and rewarding Australia experiences we’ve had (so far). It is such a great way for children to make friends, be active and enjoy the beach in a safe environment. My kids loved every bit of it, especially going out on the surfboards. The age managers were absolutely fantastic with the kids and made it so much fun. Not only my kids truly enjoyed it. I was also jumping up and down every Sunday morning to go down to the beach and…I almost wished I could be a kid again.

The bravest person in our family was Arjen, my husband. He went for his Bronze medallion, despite the fact that he couldn’t even swim properly before he started. But he made it and is now starting his first patrols in the next few weeks.

This year it will be my turn to have a go at this true blue Aussie experience. I am excited, as it is something completely new to me, but I am also scared, as I’ll be completely pushed out of my comfort zone.

The thing that has impressed me most about surf life saving Australia is the passion of all the volunteers who are involved with anything from water safety, managing the kids, to manning the sausage sizzle and organising the Sunday afternoon drinks. Australia wide there are 165,820 members and 311 affiliated surf life saving clubs. This makes Surf Life Saving the largest volunteer movement of its kind in Australia.

Who wouldn’t love this???

I absolutely love what they stand for, which comes through in their marketing text on their website:

For people young and old, Surf Life Saving inspires a positive and uniquely Australian attitude. Because every member, every club, the entire movement, embraces and promotes a ‘can do’ attitude to life. It protects life, it saves life, it promotes life.

I hope that this summer will be a great nippers and surf life saving season for many people.

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