Article by Paula Robinson
On Sunday December 13th, the first RKF Beach Program was held. Despite it being the middle of December, the weather didn’t live up to summer expectations, but not even the wind and rain could dampen the enthusiasm of those who came to participate. With the generous support of Life Saving Victoria (LSV), the 24 or so participants were directed through a number of interesting and educational activities. The purpose of each activity was to improve awareness of beach and water safety.
The participants were broken into 2 groups and the first activities were learning to boogie-board safely and a beach sprint. The boogie-board activity was particularly popular, with some people opting to wear their clothes in the water because they didn’t have their bathers and didn’t want to miss out. They were taught how to get themselves out of trouble and the best and safest way to catch a wave on the board. The LSV volunteers were friendly, helpful and very enthusiastic and made everyone feel very comfortable in trying to boogie-board.
The other activity being run at the same time, with the second group, was the beach sprint. Participants were divided into smaller teams and had to run into the water, ‘high five’ the LSV volunteer and then run down the beach to catch another of the volunteers. The competitive spirit of some came to the surface with lots of friendly banter and everyone wanting to win.
Following a short break, the final two activites were run. The first was a life jacket and boat safety activity. Participants were shown how to wear a life jacket and how to keep anyone who fell out of the boat safe. The technique involves everyone calling out a number, to count how many people are in the water, and how to gather everyone in the one place to keep warm and safe, while waiting to be rescued.
The fourth and final activity was a beach race to collect the flags left about 50 metres away – the tricky part being that there was one less flag than participants. The key was to run fast, which can be difficult in soft sand, but it was a lot of fun and some great sportsmanship was shown in letting the younger members of the group ‘win’ the race for the flags.
At the end of the outdoor activities, everyone went into the clubhouse and listened to the LSV volunteers talk about some interesting facts on beach safety. They spoke in a way that helped everyone understand and were genuinely wanting to share their in-depth knowledge of water safety with everyone there.
The day was a great success. It was informative, it involved everyone and there was real enthusiasm and willingness to hear the beach safety message and put it into action. Can’t wait for the next Beach Program.
Click HERE to see more pictures of the day!