In June 2017 we featured an article about Old Boy Nick Marshall (1994), titled Albatross Nippers are Little Rippers. Nick, a sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapist, is also an advocate for increased participation in surf lifesaving activities. In 2014, coupled with a passion for ensuring those with special needs and disability are included in the community, particularly insofar as it relates to them experiencing Nippers with other children of similar ages, Nick founded Albatross Nippers. His volunteer work, his commitment to achieving greater inclusion in sport and his desire to create a better and more engaged community, has inspired many. So much so that on Monday 11 November, Nick was named 2020 Queenslander of the Year – Local Hero. Nick acknowledged that it was an absolute honour and privilege to receive the award. Moreover, with admirable humility, he also gave credit to the team of dedicated selfless volunteers who help to make the Albatross Nippers program happen and keep it completely free of charge to all participants. Nick has also liaised with his local city council to install beach matting and free beach wheelchair access. Additionally, he was instrumental in designing the online Surf Lifesaving Australia special needs module, teaching clubs across Australia to better interact, engage and develop programs at their beach. On Saturday 25 January 2020 in Canberra, the winner of the 2020 Australian of the Year – Local Hero will be announced. Congratulations Nick and we wish you every success for the national award.
Earlier this year at the QLD State Nipper Championships, the Albatross Nippers became the first group of special needs children in history to participate in a surf lifesaving event. As this was also the 50th anniversary of Nippers in Queensland, it was a special day and almost a line in the sand as to what the next 50 years of lifesaving will look like and moving towards all surf clubs becoming inclusive. Last summer, during their journey towards the championships, a documentary was made about the Albatross Nippers. Nick says: “We never envisaged that the documentary would be so successful. As a result of our screenings it has now been picked up by Virgin Airlines and from Wednesday 1 January 2020 it will form part of their in-flight entertainment.” Further testament to the success of the all-inclusive Nipper program, is its expansion to multiple Gold Coast beaches and indeed across Queensland.
To view the Trailer and media about the Documentary and QLD State Nipper Championships, please click on the respective links below. The Trailer for the film includes some sports stars from the NRL, Australian Surf Lifesaving Team, as well as Swimming Australia, all of which are teams Nick works for and with in his real job as a sports Physio.
Media about the Documentary
Media about the QLD State Nipper Championships