Club hopes to grow its nippers program

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Port Walcott Surf Lifesaving Club president Ben Unbehaun helps Ethan Foster, 7, on the board.
Camera IconPort Walcott Surf Lifesaving Club president Ben Unbehaun helps Ethan Foster, 7, on the board.

The Pilbara’s first surf lifesaving club has been bolstered with new equipment and a busy trial day ahead of its second season in the water starting next year.

About 40 juniors from ages five-12 attended Port Walcott Surf Life Saving Club’s Have a Try Day at Boat Beach near Wickham at the weekend — a significantly higher turnout than at last season’s first trial meet.

The club has received new boards and an all-terrain vehicle during the off-season, the latter of which was put to use as Santa Claus’ mode of transport as he dropped in on the children at the beach.

Club president Ben Unbehaun said the main focus this year would be getting more parents and older siblings involved to help boost the nippers program.

“We want the nipper participation to grow but we can only be as big as the number of parent helpers we can get because there are set ratios for water safety aspects,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for parents to get in the water and help. You don’t need to be a superstar to do it.

“If you are confident in the water from an under-six nipper program then you are going to carry that through wherever you go in life.”

Harvey Navales, 12.
Camera IconHarvey Navales, 12. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

Mr Unbehaun said it was pleasing to see many new faces at the first meet.

The 2017 season begins on February 5 and meets will alternate between Port Walcott, Dampier and Point Samson. The season will end with the Broome Sunset Carnival from July 7-9.

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