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Newport Surf Life Saving Club Nippers rash vest

Date: 2006
Overall (Length x sleeve width x waist): 600 x 770 x 320 mm, 125 g
Clothing size (child): 12
Medium: Polyester
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Lisa Brooks
Object Name: Swimming vest
Object No: 00048040

User Terms

    This Newport Surf Life Saving Club Nippers cap was worn by Max Brooks and the rash vest by his brother Charlie Brooks during weekly training and end of season Sydney wide competitions between 2006 and 2008.
    SignificanceThis cap and rash vest is representative of uniforms worn by junior members of Newport Surf Life Saving Club during weekly training sessions and end of season Sydney-wide competitions between 2006 and 2008.
    HistoryIn the mid and late 1960s many surf life saving clubs launched recruitment campaigns in response to declining membership. They targeted a new pre-adolescent category of members known as ‘nippers’. It was hoped that nippers would graduate into active club members and with greater sporting experience improve their competitive profiles.

    The nipper movement kindled an interest in surf life saving amongst women in the 1970s, leading ultimately to a challenge of Surf Life Saving Australia's no-woman policy. In 1980 SLSA finally allowed clubs to admit women as active members.

    The juniors program has changed over the last decade from a competitive focus to a balance between lifesaving and competition. Today nearly 40% of Surf Life Saving Australia's membership is nippers (5-13 years).

    Newport Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1909. As Newport was then a private beach the club initially patrolled the beach from a club house across Barrenjoey Rd. The club house was named La Solitaire as it was so far from the beach. In 1912 the beach was resumed by council and renamed Newport Beach. The club continued to be housed at La Solitaire until the Council built the second club house in 1915. In the same year a Newport SLSC crew competed in the first interclub surf boat race, in one of five boats donated to Freshwater, Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen Beach (now Nth Narrabeen) and Newport Clubs by Warringah Shire Council. Newport's third club house built in 1935 is currently being renovated and extended to house the club's growing membership.

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