Head Lifeguard and Surf Educators International Vice President Bruce -Hoppo' Hopkins calls for action as NSW announces drowning toll -unprecedented'
Bruce -Hoppo' Hopkins, Head Lifeguard at Bondi Beach and Vice President of Surf Educators International has today announced an education initiative that will provide children and parents with crucial information to alert them to the dangers of both the ocean and back yard swimming pools and teach them some fundamental basics that will help save lives.
This week NSW recorded an 'unprecedented" number of drownings have taken place this summer. Hopkins believes it is imperative that positive action is taken now to teach children some basic lifesaving techniques in the water and minimize further drownings across the country.
The star of Channel Ten's hit factual television show, Bondi Rescue works with Surf Educators International (SEI) and together with SEI President, Craig Riddington will provide a free water safety education day at Bondi Beach on Friday, 20 January 2017 with further events around the country to be announced.
SEI President, Craig Riddington a previous Ironman and Surf Lifesaving champion has been running school water safety programs since 1998. As one of the founders of the Uncle Tobys Ironman Super Series, and the Founder for SEA Australia, Craig is an ambassador for water safety.
SEI has hosted practical surf safety camps for schools, families, corporate groups and other ocean swimmers – including children at rural schools and schools in lower socioeconomical areas within and around Sydney who might visit the beach on holidays. These schools are target demographic to reduce drowning, with surf lifesaving reports mentioning that education is a key factor in having an effect.
'My team at SEI has successfully taught over 20,000 school children last year alone, about water safety survival and we have significantly reduced drowning overseas. We provide programs that help save lives and offer a healthy and active learning experience. This is a necessity to ensure safety in the water." Says Craig Riddington, President at Surf Educators International (SEI)
Bruce Hopkins is a well-respected Lifeguard, water sportsman and competitor, Hoppo is currently celebrating his 25 years as one of Australia's longest serving lifeguards and has an extensive knowledge and passion for water safety. His lifeguard services have taken him around the world as a consultant and he has been a regular guest speaker at various international corporations and organisations focusing on leadership, teamwork and water safety.
'It is extremely important that children are educated in all aspects of water safety. SEI provides practical and theory surf safety/awareness for all ages and abilities. Given the recent tragedies, I believe it is crucial that we pass on valuable knowledge. We take kids as young as four years old into the water and in a controlled environment using flotation devices such as kickboards, we show them what to do if they are in a rip. Staying calm and floating is key and it is great to see the kids relax and learn how to respect the ocean. This is an important initiative and we urge families to register and take part. " Says Hopkins.
For further information visit: www.surfeducatorsinternational.com.au