Riversdale Nippers put skills on show

By Emily Norman emily.norman@age.co.nz -
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Riversdale Beach lifeguards on the club's inflatable rescue boat on the day of the Apparelmaster Nipper Carnival over Wellington Anniversary Weekend. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Riversdale Beach lifeguards on the club's inflatable rescue boat on the day of the Apparelmaster Nipper Carnival over Wellington Anniversary Weekend. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

RIVERSDALE Beach Surf Lifesaving Club hosted their yearly Nipper Carnival on the weekend, attracting more than 150 young participants to the coastal community.

Carnival co-ordinator Andrew Leslie said the Nipper Carnival, sponsored by Apparelmaster, was held in stunning weather on Sunday, with a perfect sea for the young nippers, aged 5 to 14, to test themselves.

"With competitors from other Wellington clubs, including Worser Bay, Titahi Bay and Lyall Bay, this day allowed all of the nippers a chance to utilise the skill sets they had learnt over summer, from run, swim, run and tube rescues, in the sea, to beach sprints and beach flags on the shore," he said.

"It gets very competitive at times, with friendships tested, as they all strived to be the top nipper in their age group.

"With a full complement of lifeguards on duty, the event provided a perfect showcase for the club's Nipper programme which is unique in the central region; covering beach education, water confidence and safety, sea swimming and beach awareness."

Club chairman Dave Rose said the Nippers programme was a "huge part of the club" and that it was "such an important thing" for the kids to show off the skills they had learned over the four-week training period.

"We are looking at a lot of these children to become our lifeguards of the future, these carnivals develop that pathway for them."

Mr Rose said the club would like to thank Apparelmaster for their support of the event and Gazley Motors for their sponsorship of the summer nipper programme.

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