BETWEEN THE FLAGS
FOR the dedicated lifesaver the season is like music, it never ends. Last Saturday, Main Beach, Noosa, was under control of the lifeguards. Despite having just finished another busy season, 45 lifesavers assembled to work as carers for the second Saturday of the Noosa Seahorses Nippers.
Despite a slightly overcast day, 33 children attended and from 8am till 9am, the beach was theirs. Some new games have been added to the program and, under the watchful eye of 45 helpers, beach and water events were conducted.
Among the carers were three representatives from the Collaroy Club in Sydney. The purpose of their visit was to see first hand exactly what the Seahorse Nippers is all about, talk to the organisers and take part in the beach and water activities.
Representing Collaroy were Fiona Hall, 48, Jake Dekort, 16, and Christian Loone, 14. Fiona, who in private life works as a drama teacher, has been a member of the club for 14 years.
“Lifesaving Australia contacted our club and asked us to help promote programs for children with special needs,” she said.
“What we have seen here at Noosa is wonderful it has given us something to implement. With the information we have we can now fully explain to our club what is involved and go ahead from there. We feel sure we will get total support.”
Both Jake and Christian described their morning with the Seahorses as awesome.
“To see the reaction of the children was really unbelievable,” Jake said. “To see them laughing and smiling makes you understand how great this really is.”
“I really can’t wait to see us get this going,” Christian said. “It is really outstanding. Our club, like Noosa is very much a family club so I can’t see any real difficulties getting things started.”
When a new project is undertaken, success will always depend on the calibre of those who step forward. In this instant the Collaroy club could not do better. Fiona started her career working for the Nippers then moved up to the senior ranks. Along the way she has collected swag of gold, silver and bronze medals as a masters competitor. She has also held the position of patrol captain.
Despite their youth, both Jake and Christian tick all the right boxes. Jake started his career at under-7s and since moving through the ranks of Nippers into senior he has won eight medals at national level, mainly in the prestigious Rescue and Resuscitation events. However this year he topped them off by winning the Australian Champion Life Saver under-17 gold medal in Perth.
Christian started his career at under-6, and with his parents both heavily involved in patrolling and competition, lifesaving came natural.
The attitude, as well as the questions asked by the boys showed a maturity well beyond their years. As they discussed the project it became apparent that they were right for the task of starting a similar program.
Co-ordinator of the Noosa Seahorses Steve Mawby stressed that Noosa would do all in their power to help in the months ahead.
“While speaking of help, we would like to thank the Emerald Resort which was gracious in hosting the Collaroy people during their stay in Noosa,” Mawby said.
A major factor in Noosa’s success has been the workforce. One of these is Nick Kirby. Nick, who lives at Kawana drives up to organise parking facilities by 5am. Outstanding.
Next week we will meet the locals behind the scenes who have made the Seahorses such a success.