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Bronte Nippers’ Bright Idea For Surf Safety

By Dan Hutton on January 2, 2013 in News

Photo: Sid Finnimore

When heading down for a surf at Bronte on a recent Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but notice that the Bronte Nippers were all decked out in bright pink rash shirts. Even walking up through Bronte Cutting post surf I could clearly see all the Nippers splashing about in the water.

In light of the death of a young athlete at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on Queensland’s Kurrawa Beach in March 2012, Surf Life Saving Australia has made it compulsory that competitors wear high-visibiliity rash vests at all SLSA carnivals from the beginning of 2013.

According to local resident Dave Finnimore, who runs the Bronte Nippers program, Bronte Surf Club wants to take the safety measures even further.

“Within 24 hours of the tragic death of young Matt Barclay at the Aussie titles, we decided we were going for high-vis fluoro rashies as the safety of kids is our primary concern. We are taking it a step further than SLSA, whereby all our kids must wear their rashies every Sunday, every training session, and also at carnivals,” Mr Finnimore told The Beast.

The Bronte Nippers were also fortunate enough to find a new sponsor when word of the new rash vests went out.

“We were lucky to have new Bronte resident Ben Ritchie down at the beach with his young kids and when he heard our vision he jumped straight in and sponsored the club through his commercial construction business MPA Projects,” Mr Finnimore added.

According to Mr Ritchie, the sponsorship deal was a no-brainer.

“I have young kids and I know that Bronte can be a dangerous beach. I also know how Bronte Nippers nurtures the kids in surf safety and how it gives them confidence and respect for the beach conditions,” Mr Ritchie said.

“When I heard about Bronte Surf Club’s safety push and its commitment to the kids it immediately struck me as a such a necessary and worthwhile cause that also aligned with MPA Project’s core business principles, so we jumped in and we are looking forward to being a long term partner with Bronte Surf Club.”