The pilot scheme, targeting grade 3 to 6 levels, will be trialled in Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff Primary schools.
“It aims to educate these students about their local environment in terms of surf safety and awareness, while developing their skills and confidence to promote healthy living and fun at the beach,” said Club spokesman Liam Petrie-Allbutt.
“Recently, Life Saving Victoria published a report highlighting a widespread lack of swimming abilities in primary school aged children. Such findings make the new Nippers in School pilot program especially relevant and important for coastal school communities such as Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff Primary,” he said.
“In addition to the surf lifesaving aspect of the program, there will also be some friendly competitions as well as other fun activities including stand-up surfing on G-Boards, beach volleyball, and beach soccer.”
Time, demand and cost constraints mean many local children miss out on the opportunity to participate in the regular two-week intensive Nippers program, conducted by the PLSLSC over the Christmas holidays.
Mr Petrie-Allbutt said schools, parents, club volunteers and local business have thrown their support behind the initiative.
“The 360 Property Group, Michael Limb Builders, Kerleys Coastal Real Estate, SISU Wellness & Banjo have kindly donated funds for the provision of a complimentary sun-smart rash vest for all student participants.”
Six Nipper sessions will run through November and December at no cost to the students.
Anybody interested in volunteering to help facilitate the program can contact Liam Petrie-Allbutt -svp@firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy John Donegan.