05 November 2018
As the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service's Nippers prepares to celebrate their 50th anniversary next month, local school ACG Tauranga in Pyes Pa is delighted to announce it will continue as primary sponsor of the Nippers programme for a second year.
The sponsorship is part of the independent school’s ongoing commitment to education and community. It continues for the 2018/2019 summer season under the leadership of principal Thea Kilian who started at the school last term.
“Our school opened in 2015 and, as a relative newcomer to the Bay of Plenty, it’s humbling for us to partner with such an established club, particularly in a year in which the Nippers celebrate this tremendous milestone,” she said.
“We’re so proud to support a local organisation that, like us, wants to develop capable confident young adults for the future. It’s about giving back to the community, supporting each other and learning life skills that will be invaluable for our kids for the future.
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service Chairman Paul Manning said the club was delighted to continue the partnership:
“The goal of the Nippers programme is to develop the lifeguards of the future through providing education, competence and confidence in and around the beach environment. ACG have shown they care deeply about education, service and community, and both organisations share a real passion for innovation and continuous improvement, so there’s a great natural fit there. We’re really proud of the long history of Nippers here at the Mount and nationwide and the ongoing support provided by this partnership ensures the programme will continue to thrive.”
The Nippers programme teaches 5-to-13 year old kids important water skills, helps to grow confidence on the water and teaches them how to keep locals safe on the beach. It complements the competitive Oceans (10-13) age group, the Rookie Lifeguard programme and weekly skill sessions and school holiday programmes for a range of levels. The focus on ongoing education is well-aligned with ACG Tauranga, which opened a new preschool on its campus last year and now offers education from Preschool through to Year 13.
Nippers a ‘transformational’ experience: the Rimmer family. Grant Rimmer says his family’s experience being part of Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service over the years has been transformational. His sons Quinn, Year 8, and Tai, Year 6, both at ACG Tauranga, joined the club as toddlers. Starting in the Nippers programme, Quinn has progressed to the Oceans Athletes Squad, while Tai is in the Rookies programme for lifeguards in training. As well as training, education, experience and skills, Tai and Quinn have had many opportunities to give back to the club by helping younger children and developing as volunteers from a young age. ‘Healthy’ is the word he associates with his experience. He said the boys had gained confidence through being involved, and putting themselves up there on a stage.
“Not just in terms of the physical benefits,” he says. “I mean the friendships, the culture of the club, its supportiveness. Looking back all those years ago to when they started, I get quite emotional when I think of the transformation,” he said. “Particularly for Quinn. I don’t think they would have done that without the supportive environment of the club.”