First Australian Nippers program completed at Herzeliya

September 3, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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120 Israeli youth and children have completed the first Australian Nippers beach program on Zvulun Beach, Herzeliya.

A selfie with Ambassador Chris Cannan   Photo: Moshe Sandbank Photography

The young pioneers aged 7-12 (Nippers) 13-17 (Dolphins) participated in a six-week program based on the iconic Surf Life Saving Australia water-safety culture.

Nippers and Dolphin programs are a part of a new and pioneering initiative in Israel to introduce a new beach culture of responsible and life-saving beach behaviour, by adapting decades of experience and knowledge brought from Australia’s Surf Life Savingorganisation.

The course included learning surf-rescue, tube rescue, CPR, beach fitness and respect and beach/marine awareness while leading and working as a team.

The program is fully based on a community of volunteers and was supported by 65 trained volunteers both in the water and on the beach. The 20 teenage Dolphins group completed an advanced training in age-management and water-safety and were instrumental in the program’s success.

The Israel Life Saving Federation (ILSF) was founded in 2019 by seven Australian olim, with the vision to bring the Australian water-safety culture to beaches across Israel and thus decrease the extremely high number of preventable drownings.

This year so far 33 people have lost their lives drowning compared to 27 in 2019 over the entire swim season (March-October).

Danny Hakim (ILSF Chairman), H.E., Chris Cannan (Australian Ambassador to Israel), Paul Hakim (ILSF President),
Ofra Bell (Deputy Mayor Herzliya), Shmulik Lin (Hetzliya Beach Manager) and Ofer Saar (Herzliya Marina Manager).(Photo: Moshe Sandbank Photography)

Danny Hakim, Chairman of ILSF: “Israel is a beach country like Australia, but does not have a developed safety beach culture. We felt we could help here by introducing what Australians know best when it comes to beach behaviour and rescue in order to prevent more drownings”.

Surf Life Saving Australia has developed over the past six decades a unique water-safety program focusing on respect for the ocean and teaching imperative life-saving skills together with thousands of volunteers patrolling Australian beaches. ILSF is planning to do the same in Israel.

The first graduation ceremony was attended by Mrs Ofra Bell, deputy mayor of Herzliya, and by the Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan who also took part in starting the competitive life-saving race with the new Nippers.

Photo: Moshe Sandbank Photography

As a 3rd generation Nipper himself, Ambassador Cannan has been a strong supporter in rolling out the Nippers programs in Israel

Addressing the young audience Ambassador Cannan said: ”You are part of a global movement of surf life-saving. You are making a major contribution to not only develop yourself but are learning skills to save others. This is tikun olam and making your country a better place.”

Mrs Ofra Bell, Deputy mayor of Herzeliya, giving her full support for the program said at the ceremony: “There should not be a child that does not know ILSF”

ILSF will be offering courses on more beaches across Israel. Further Nippers and Dolphin training will take place from Sukkot on the beaches of Herzliya, Tel Aviv, Jisr Azarka and Haifa. Other programs in the pipeline will be introduced soon.

 

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