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Newport Surf Life Saving Club Nippers swimsuit

Date: 2008
Overall: 500 x 260 mm, 66 g
Clothing size: 6
Medium: Polyester
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Edwards family
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00048038

User Terms

    This Newport Surf Life Saving Club Nippers swimsuit was worn by Kristie Edwards in training and competition when she was in the under Eights and under Nines. The swimsuit was also worn by her sister Ashlie who trained and competed in the Under Sixes and Under Sevens. The swimsuit was worn with a cap and rash vest for sun protection. Both Kristie and Ashlie competed in branch and state competitions.

    SignificanceThis swimsuit 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.

    The Newport Nippers (also known as the Newport Junior Activities Group) began in 1993 with 143 members in age groups ranging from inder six to under thirteen years. During the 1994-95 season the New Port Nippers entered Inter-Club and state competition for the first time.

    During the 2003-4 season Max Brooks won a gold medal as parr of the under 9 Relay team at the Branch titles. At the Shell Harbour States titles the Under 9 team including Max Brooks came third. During the 2005-2006 season Max Brooks won gold in the Under 11 Iron Man and Board Rescue events, silver as part of the Surf team and bronze medals in the Board Relay and Surf Race events. In the 2006-2007 max Brooks was selected for the Sydney Northern Beaches team for the Interbranch Championships. During the 2008-2009 season Kristie Edwards won a gold medal in the Under 9 Sprint at the State Titles while Max Brooks won a gold medal as part of the Under 14 Board Relay team, bronze in the Iron Man asnd silver in the Board Rescue event. Max Brooks was named as Youth Athlete of the Year for the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch.

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