Lennox Head Beach was filled with kids of all abilities on Saturday February 27, 2016, as children on the autism spectrum and with disabilities joined in paddling, running and wading with other kids at their local surf club.
25 children with additional needs registered to attend Nippers for the first time, and were joined by around 40 children who participate in Nippers every week. The mixed abilities groups were supported by volunteer Age Managers and Surf Life Savers to try out four Nippers activities, with trainers using the Inclusion Resources to support participation.
The aim of the Inclusion Day was for children of all abilities to have a go at Nippers, and gain the confidence and skills to sign up to the mainstream Nippers program next season.
Lennox Head-Alstonville, Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Club are now equipped with What We Do At Nippers Inclusion Resource Kits, developed by Aspect Northern NSW. The clubs are excited to sign up and support children on the autism spectrum to participate in their Nippers program alongside other kids.
The Inclusion Resource Kits contain an Inclusion Manual, Visual Supports and videos and are available for all Surf Life Saving Clubs in Australia.
This Inclusion Day was made possible thanks to the FundAbility grant program, a two-year disability inclusion initiative run by Northcott and funded by the Department of Family and Community Services.