Active After School Communities

Lifesaving!

Le Page has done well to gain continuous grants from the Australian Sports Commission in support of after school sports programs. In Term 1 this year (2014) we have Cricket for the younger students and our Years 4-6 get to participate in a Lifesaving Program. Additional funding has allowed us to travel by bus to Mentone Lifesaving Club for activities in the ‘real’ environment. February 26th. was the opportunity for our first visit.

Though the weather was ‘fine’, Shannon (our Coach) commenced the session with clothed (shoes and socks off) activities on the sand. We practised the skills for what Lifesavers call a ‘Flag Race’. First we lay down facing away from the flags (hard to see them in the pic as they’re actully cut pieces of hose stuck into the sand). It has to be hand over hand under the chin and the children practised keeping heels together (Mermaid position) and lifting their heads on the command of the Starter (Shannon) before resting them down again and waiting for the whistle.

On the whistle, you get up, turn around, then run as fast as you can to grab a ‘flag’.  A bit like musical chairs, there’s always one less flag than the numbers in the race.  If you are the one missing out on a flag – you’re out!  This is usually a sad moment.  These students are acting sad for the camera, but they were having fun watching the others as they strived to ‘get the gold’.

The activity progresses as we start with two halves, competitors are eliminated, the halves are then merged. 

Down to the last three……

Finally down to the last two and in a flurry of sand, Cameron (left) snared the flag from out of the sand just as Maria’s fingers were closing around it.  Time to spit out the sand. 

After a quick run of some beach relays, our students were invited to change into their togs for the (brrr!) water activities.  After a few minutes all were lined up listening to instructions.  Tim, one of the Co-ordinators at the Mentone Lifesaving Club with his back to the camera, was there to assist and Nathan (taller guy wearing black in the middle of the line of students) were there to assist Shannon as the children were about to enter the water. 

No time for faint hearts!  A wading race – out and around the buoy, come back, give Tim a “Hi 5″, then tag your partner for their turn. 

The breeze coming off the water made things a little difficult when standing around waiting your turn.  Cameron and Jaidyn were looking ‘cool’ in their boardies.  

The shivers were forgotten when the junior surf skis were taken out.  The hardest part was getting them to go in the direction you needed.  Around the buoy and back. 

Thanks to Shannon, Tim and Nathan for a wonderful first session at Mentone.  Back again in a fortnight.