Redcliffe Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club’s youth programs again proved to be a force to be reckoned with when the club was crowned Sunshine Coast's Junior and Youth Development Club of the Year for the second year running.
Spokesman Rob van Driel says it’s a huge coup to beat 13 other clubs in the region for the title, which acknowledges excellence in supporting future lifesavers, and it’s testament to the commitment of Redcliffe’s dedicated volunteers.
“The award recognises the best club for junior and youth development and we were competing against much larger clubs like Mooloolaba and Caloundra,” Rob says.
“Redcliffe’s making waves – even without the waves,” he jokes, referring to the Peninsula’s lack of surf.
“Nippers is developing young members to become lifesavers,” Rob says.
A surge in the popularity of life saving left Redcliffe with a challenge – they had to close their waiting list for the Nippers program for this year’s season because with 700 children still wanting to join it was unlikely they’d find a spot – even with mid-week training sessions.
“I think it’s a lot to do with increased awareness of the Nippers program, but we’re also the closest club to Brisbane,” he says.
“Half our members come from the Peninsula and half from Brisbane – a lot of it’s word of mouth.”
Rob says numbers were capped at 280 last year, with limited beach space and a strict volunteer-to-Nipper ratio.
This year the goal is to have up to 320 children involved in the program.
“With Suttons Beach being tidal and also having steps, we’re always going to be limited for space,” he explains.
“We’re really going for quality over quantity and it comes down to the amount of equipment we have and not wanting to have the kids sitting around waiting for a turn.”
About Redcliffe Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club
Founded in 1991, Redcliffe Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club has a reputation for being a family orientated club.
Originally based in a shipping container at Woody Point, members moved to a more suitable building the following year and began fundraising with sausage sizzles and pig racing for a new clubhouse.
In December 1995 they moved to their new digs at Suttons Beach, later adding a gear shed.
Last year Redcliffe celebrated the opening of a purpose-built clubhouse with dedicated storage and training spaces.
The upgrade included a new training room, equipment room for boards and Nipper gear, and trailer room for inflatable rescue boats.
It was built with a $650,000 Federal Government grant facilitated by Petrie MP Luke Howarth and funds raised over many years by volunteers.
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