Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Nippers Carnival Packs Main Beach; Emu Park Fields More Than 100 for Capricorn Junior Lifesaving Carnival

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Nippers Carnival Packs Main Beach; Emu Park Fields More Than 100 for Capricorn Junior Lifesaving Carnival

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Kennedy alan.kennedy@capnews.com.au

SURF LIFESAVING: There will be little chance of a quiet time on the main beach at Yeppoon this weekend with more than 400 youngsters taking part in a two-day carnival.

Although the carnival is the Wide Bay Capricorn Junior Surf Championship with all the clubs in the district represented, from Hervey Bay up to Yeppoon, the largest contingent is expected to be from Emu Park.

John Phelan, the man in charge of the Emu Park Club's junior section and team manager for the Nippers, said he expects to field over 100 youngsters, aged between eight and 14 years, at Yeppoon.

Last year when the event was staged at Hervey Bay the Emu Park club sent a team of 40 youngsters but 2009 is the biggest team the club has assembled.

"We'll have 108 out of the 400 (attending)," he predicted.

"Emu Park is now the biggest club (junior membership).

"That growth has been over the last two years when we have gone from a medium-sized club to a big club."

The growth in junior membership is no fluke but due to the club actively trying to attract young people to join, not just those living in Emu Park but also those from Rockhampton with schools around the district targeted.

"A lot of parents want their children to be safe in the surf," he said.

"They send the children along to learn those skills."

Learning lifesaving skills may be a priority but Phelan emphasises that the focus remains on enjoyment.

"If you aren't enjoying it then you shouldn't be doing it," he said quoting an old adage.

"It doesn't matter if a kid comes last or is a champ, they are all the same."

One of the pleasures Phelan gets from his position with the club is seeing youngsters blossom as they learn new skills.

"It is nice to see their confidence grow," he said.

While participation is a number one objective, it is also good for the club to measure up favourably with the other Surf Life Saving Clubs in the zone. …

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