An extension of the voluntary services that Newport SLSC has provided to the community in recent years has been the continuance of our ground breaking programme for kids with special needs. This is one of only 2 programmes being offered within NSW, and incorporates our Dolphins and Marlins groups for kids aged 6 yrs up to young adults.
The program was developed and delivered to allow for developmentally disabled kids to participate in junior surf life saving activities (modified Nippers Programme). This has seen the kids learn and participate in activities such as flags, sprints, beach relays, as well as a number of other recreational activities. The Programme also sees the kids learn to balance and paddle surfboards and to experience the excitement of catching, for many, their very first wave to the shore.
This programme has been very successful and has given an opportunity for kids with special needs, who may not have had such an opportunity if not for a dedicated bunch of members at Newport, to learn about the surf and safety at the beach. It has also given our members the opportunity to meet these special people, and share in their excitement as they master new skills throughout the season.
The Dolphins and Marlins groups are now integrated into Newport’s regular nipper programme, and both groups run concurrently throughout the season.