SURF READY: These Eumundi State School students are keen to improve their surf safety awareness under the watchful eyes of Noosa heads lifesavers.
SURF READY: These Eumundi State School students are keen to improve their surf safety awareness under the watchful eyes of Noosa heads lifesavers. Peter Gardiner

Lessons will help stop surf tragedies

SOME clung awkwardly to their paddle boards in Main Beach's gentle shore break slipping on and off under the watchful eyes of the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club's volunteers.

Eumundi's Year 5s, all 91 of them, were embarking on surf education crash course and in just a few weeks even the raw novices will be paddling with assured confidence.

Of course some had already become gained surf awareness from their Sunday nipper sessions, but over the four Fridays will renew the sort skills that can save their lives if conditions turn tricky.

Eumundi teacher and long-time patrolling member at Coolum Beach SLSC Lawrie McLiver is grateful for the Noosa Heads' efforts to help instil greater surf confidence and appreciation in these youngsters.

Over four two-hour sessions the transformation is always obvious to the lifesavers.

"This is very important because a lot of these kids don't get the opportunity to go to the beach often," Mr McLiver said.

"We do see a real difference, they're more reluctant at first and then they become more confident."

Sessions of surf, swimming, paddling and using body boards often in fun relays formats is the key to this transformation.

Fellow teacher Alisdair Scott said the kids also learn the lifesaver signals, learning about "what to and not to do" and how to call for help from the water.

Noosa SLSC education manager Greg McLaughlin said the students eventually tackle an "ironman event" and later the local surf awareness schools will take part in a surf carnival.

"We see an improvement from week-to-week and the conditions are always different every week ... today is pretty calm, but Wednesday we had pretty trying conditions because of the northerly.

"They do pick up a range of skills," he said.

He said it pleasing to see that so many local schools appreciated the importance of instilling surf safety from an early age.

And Noosa Heads SLSC this Thursday, will be the venue for another important school event involving St Teresa's Catholic College.

From 6am the school's talented musicians will perform after the rising sun to local beach goers on Main Beach at the club's grassed area until 7.45am.

The club will then provide barbecue facilities for the students for a farewell breakfast the Year 12s of 2016. On hand to welcome these acoustic ensembles will be surf club president Ross Fisher, who noted that some of the players are active Noosa lifesavers.


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