Welcome to the Beach, Cooks Hill SLSC – NSW
The ‘Welcome to the Beach’ Program is in its sixth year and is run in partnership with DARA, the Catholic Relief Agency who run several support programs for newly settled refugee and immigrant families. The program is hugely popular, so much so that numbers are limited. Many immigrants and refugees who attend the program have never stepped onto a beach before, let alone entered the water. This is due to the location of their country of origin or cultural beliefs and customs.
The program commenced as a Cooks Hill initiative. However, the DARA resources have proven valuable as they are able to identify individuals and families who will gain the most benefit from a beach and surf education program. Many refugees have suffered significant trauma and the beach has proven to be a therapeutic diversion from their trauma.
There is motivation to educate families, especially teenagers, on how to visit the beach safely. All safety aspects are covered, from entering the water and identifying individuals such as Surf Lifesavers and Council Lifeguards. In 2020 COVID created a considerable challenge; however, the program ran with small groups of teenagers over four Saturday’s. The club is much richer for this program, and the interaction and value it delivers to those who participate results in everyone mutually benefiting.
Albatross Nipper Program, Nobbys Beach SLSC – QLD
The Albatross Nippers program is designed for those children who live in the local community with special needs. In its sixth summer with growing numbers, the 2020 season saw changes to the program with the Albatross Nippers team up with All Saints College and, more particularly, their rugby team. This enabled the Albatross Nippers to team up with a similarly aged peer from All Saints. While many school students did not have their Bronze or SRC, they could be a beach buddy, and assist the Albatross Nippers through their beach activities. Where water activities required one-on-one assistance, the club was able to utilise the available water safety and limit access to the water at those times, but always confident that each Albatross Nipper had a buddy looking after them.
Its success can also be measured by highlighting and better educating young people about difference and disability whilst instilling a sense of giving back to the community.
a surf club perspective, it allowed more opportunities to train and up-skill previously non-surf club people to join the club and attain their SRC and Bronze Medallion.
The program’s success can be measured by highlighting and better educating more young people about difference and disability and instilling in them the sense of giving back and the greater community. The program has seen an increase in new members to Nobbys.
Silver Salties Program – Binningup SLSC – WA
Binningup ran the Silver Salties Program for the first time in the 2020 season and was the first Club in WA to register for the program. The motivation behind Binningup taking on the program was a way of engaging and interacting with more adults in the community and building community awareness of Surf Lifesaving and its services.
The Club is always looking for ways to draw new adult volunteers. Many young members are lost when they move away for university or employment opportunities.
Binningup successfully ran programs for 53 Silver Salties aged between 55 and 90. The three main programs run as part of the program were:
- Ocean Swimming
- Ocean Fitness (exercises in the shallow flat water)
- Beach Fitness
Due to the success of the initial six-week programs, two subsequent programs Ocean Swimming and Ocean Fitness were held. Most participants had not previously been involved with the surf movement. However, the success of the program saw several Silver Salties finish the season keen to sign up as full club members and undertake awards in the 2021 season.
The program was very positive from a social and mental health perspective, particularly in a challenging year with COVID. At 90 years young, the most senior participant was heard saying, ‘I haven’t had this much fun in years!’
Semaphore Seabirds Nipper Inclusion Program, Semaphore SLSC – SA
Semaphore identified the risk of traditional programs on children who require additional support in community sport and recreation. This was the catalyst for implementing Semaphore Seabird’s, a Nippers program for children aged 5-13 years with a disability. Conducted over six-weeks, it was delivered alongside the traditional Nippers programs. To ensure the program was appropriate for the target audience, Semaphore undertook training to ensure they provided the best support and program possible.
The Seabirds provided seven families in their community the opportunity to be part of the lifesaving movement while promoting beach awareness, community spirit, fun and creating an inclusive access point for the community as a whole. The impact Seabirds has had on the Club, and the wider community cannot be overstated. It has provided participants with a positive experience in sessions and carnivals whilst providing families with a sense of social connectedness.
From a Club perspective, young members have taken on mentor roles and were provided with an understanding of challenges others face in the community. It is not an exaggeration to say that this program has changed the Club forever and the people who make up its membership.
Silver Salties Program, Penguin SLSC – TAS
Having followed the development of the Silver Salties program in other States, Penguin saw a different range of activities suited to the Tasmanian climate. The committee agreed that the club was in a position to implement the program, and more importantly, the club felt it would have a positive impact on the Penguin Community.
The initial Salties organising committee developed a clubhouse program based on local community volunteers and expertise. It included one-off sessions on yoga, first aid, fire safety, tai chi, club history and beach safety. After the initial meet and greet was held, feedback from potential participants was gathered and resulted in the introduction of a beach/surf program called Catching Waves.
Catching Waves ran in tandem with the Clubhouse program. Thirty-three registrations were received with an average age of 68. After the first trial program, it was agreed that Silver Salties would provide another means of community activity and socialising for older adults at Penguin. Subsequent sessions have been held in the school holiday period enabling grandchildren to participate with their grandparents.
This shows how surf lifesaving promotes intergenerational connection, it is an organisation that caters for all.