School nipper initiative launched

2017-12-20 06:01
Warner Beach Preparatory nippers (from left) Calli Fourie, Connor Wishart and Jimmy Papadopoulos after completing the body boarding event.

Warner Beach Preparatory nippers (from left) Calli Fourie, Connor Wishart and Jimmy Papadopoulos after completing the body boarding event.

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Tania Sandberg

FORWARD thinking and vision is the way to success, and never before has this been more evident than now for the Warnadoone Lifesavers Club.

Not only were they the first lifesaving club in South Africa to introduce nipper training, they are also the first club to envision the way forward, securing the future of the sport and lifesaving by introducing nippers to schools as a sport.

The club approached local schools and Warner Beach Preparatory did not hesitate to add nipper training to their sports curriculum, with Amanzimtoti and Scottbrugh Primary also taking up the challenge.

The result saw 75 new nippers and 75 club nippers competing in the first interschool competition at Scottburgh beach on Saturday, December 2.

Warner Beach Primary, Amanzimtoti Primary and Scottburgh Primary participated and Amanzimtoti Primary won.

“For safety reasons the new nippers did beach events only as we introduced them to the sport, while the more seasoned nippers did surf events as well. SA Lifesaving dignitaries were in attendance,” said Warnadoone Lifesavers Club spokesperson and co-initiator of the project, Llewellyn Veldtman.

General Tyres, a Lifesaving South African sponsor, was the main sponsor for the event.

“General Tyres also paid for medals for the top three positions and SA Lifesaving are highly excited about the project and growing the sport. As it will not only involve surf Lifesaving but also fresh water lifesaving at the schools,” Veldtman said.

The vision, however, is much bigger than local.

“This is the pilot phase, with the approval of SA Lifesaving, we plan to roll out the programme provincially getting all schools involved, and much bigger.”

Veldtman said school nipper training will resume next year. For more information about the programme, interested parties must contact Veldtman on 082 572 7910.


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