Club to make a splash

EXCITING TIMES: Colleen Allan and fellow volunteer Jason Allcock can't wait to see the nippers on the beach.

EXCITING TIMES: Colleen Allan and fellow volunteer Jason Allcock can't wait to see the nippers on the beach.

LOCAL children will get access to important water safety messages thanks to the formation of a new community based club.

President of the Bay and Basin Community Nippers, Colleen Allan, said their aim was to get young children aged from five years to 12 years to learn lifesaving and water safety skills, make new friends, gain confidence and ultimately have fun in a safe beach environment.

“It’s not just the water safety thing - it's the teamwork, the camaraderie and it’s building community spirit,” she said.

“A lot of people have said we needed something like this for a long time now.”

Registrations will be taken this Sunday (October 16) from 11.30am to 1.30pm at the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre.

The club’s first session will be at Huskisson Beach (just near the Huskisson Beach Resort) on Sunday October 23 from 10am and people can meet near the barbecue area.

“We feel the interest is certainly there,” she said.

“I would be happy to run with just five kids per group.”

People are also prepared to help the club and volunteer for roles.

“Everyone is in a situation where it’s new for them and a lot of the volunteers said they would step up to help but they have to find their feet as well,” Mrs Allan said.

“Some of the volunteers do have a background in water safety and parents have indicated they would take on age group management roles.

“Without them (volunteers) forming the club would not be possible.”

Established surf clubs have pitched in to help the new group.

“The support has been amazing and not just in NSW but interstate as well ,” she said

“Windang Surf Lifesaving Club has donated items like rescue boards and an IRB and the Frankston club in Victoria had also donated some boards as well.

“We are set for with gear which is fantastic to know from the very beginning we have all the equipment we need.”

The Bay and Basin Community Resources also helped the club get a grant for equipment.

The club’s colours are yellow and blue and all the nippers will get rash vests.

The club also has its own special logo.

“Our logo is the blue devil fish which calls Jervis Bay home and is an endangered species,” Mrs Allan said.

“We wanted to have something that was significant to the area.”

The community nipper format they will be following is a new one and is just for nippers.

“The main difference is the children are not eligible to compete at a state, branch or national level - it’s just education and participation is the focus,” Mrs Allan said

If the club grows the road to competitions may become an option.

Mrs Allan said people could drown in any water - including presumed safe swimming places like Jervis Bay.

“It (a drowning) does not take long and can only be a matter of seconds,” she said

For more information email or head to the club’s Facebook page.

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