Having met two of the surf lifeguards I was invited by Craig to have a look around their Surf Club that overlooked the beach. It appeared a real focal point for the community, with a function room, a bar and café, as well as sports facilities for young (and the not so young!) to enjoy the sport of lifesaving and the beach.
Craig was certainly a strong advocate for what the Surf Club provided for young people – hear his thoughts here:
He was also happy to share his perspective on his own ambitions as well as the things young people need to be successful in life.
The next day I returned to the beach to see the junior club members enjoying the activities. ‘Nippers’ readily hosts hundreds of kids on a Sunday morning, supported by parents and other volunteers from the community. All spoke enthusiastically about the opportunity it provided to meet people, stay healthy, learn skills and to get out and about. It wasn’t for everyone’s taste – a couple of the coaches mentioned there were always kids that didn’t take to it, or of course lost interest as they got older, but like many successful activities aimed at young people, for a large number it was a really big part of their everyday lives.
I spoke briefly to one of the parents, who was also a volunteer with the Surf Club.
‘This is such a big part of the local community here. My advice to teenagers? Get off your IPad and do something!’