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Thursday, 17 June 2004
Page: 30820

Mr BAIRD (9:56 AM) —Recently I had the opportunity to present awards to a number of fine young athletes from the Cronulla Surf-Lifesaving nippers club. Each Sunday, from September to February, over 650 young people and their parents head down to South Cronulla beach and participate in races, games and surf education. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to be active and healthy in a fun and enjoyable environment. Cronulla nippers has a long and distinguished history. It is the oldest nippers club in the Sutherland shire and was formed in 1907. It is also the largest nippers club in Australia and is highly successful.

The club has won the last seven state championships, which is a record for New South Wales. Six club members have also recently gained entry into the exclusive Sydney branch team, which is a great honour for any nipper. This junior arm of the surf club does vital work in encouraging young people to be involved in outdoor activities while training future volunteers who will grow to perform patrols of the beach, keeping swimmers safe. This year 30 nippers have continued on to the next stage in their surf-lifesaving career, which is known as the cadets. The cadets can perform patrols on the beach, helping to protect the community whilst being a very rewarding and healthy experience for those involved.

In an electorate like Cook where we are fortunate enough to have many beaches, it is great to see so many young people becoming active and participating in these surf safety programs. All the children who are involved this season should be congratulated, and a special mention must also go to the children who are able to attain the coveted nipper of the year award. The subjunior nipper of the year award went to Eliza Caseceli and James Ryan. The junior nipper of the year award went to Lauren Archer and Jake Little. The nipper of the year award went to Nicola Zagane and Luke Cole. To win this award, athletes have to be successful in carnivals all over New South Wales and to show outstanding talent and sportsmanship. A special mention must also go to eight-year-old Regan Yerbury. This exceptional boy was the state championin the blue-ribbon gold beach sprint. It is an amazing achievement considering that this was his first year of competition in the nippers carnival.

This year two members of the club, Maddison Elliot and Jacqui Holland, won medals at the Australian championships. This is a fantastic achievement considering the wealth of talent that comes from all over Australia to participate in the championships. Once again, I want to congratulate all the nippers from the Cronulla Surf-Lifesaving Club and all those who participated in the New South Wales carnival in 2003-04. The nippers give young people great opportunities to get out there and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. I commend their efforts and achievements.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. I.R. Causley)—Order! In accordance with standing order 275A the time for members' statements has concluded.