Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Morning Aussie Style

Recently the Little Princess began what seems to be a rite of passage for Aussie children. She had her first day of Nippers.


We hit the beach bright and early with hundreds of other kids all geared up in their blue rashies and swim caps. And since Australians love competitive sports there was no since this is the first day we'll take it easy on you kind of attitude. Not at all. They jumped right in with paddle boards, steering their way around the dads positioned in the water. (Have I mentioned there are sharks in Sydney Harbour? We had to sign a wavier . . seriously).



It was only after the paddle boards that the dad-in-charge asked, "Can everyone swim?" A couple girls clung nervously to their parents but the rest of them, including the Little Princess, got right into a swimming competition. Four at a time they waited at the starting line, took off in a sprint for the water, swam freestyle around the parents positioned in the harbour, and then sprinted to the finish. We clapped and cheered as the Little Princess won her heat.


Next up: Flags. In this event, they take foot long pieces of garden hose and stick them in a line in the sand. The girls line up 20 yards away and lay belly down in the sand. After a "Ready, Steady, Go" they jump up, turn around and dash to grab one of the "flags". Each time, a few kids are eliminated musical-chairs style, until it's down to the winner. I think the Little Princess surprised herself making it into the top 5. What she lacks in speed she makes up for with focus and determination.


The day ended with a hearty game of tug-of-war. Girls verses the parent helpers. The girls won. Really. Fair and square. That's the only way they do it here.


Nippers: a very cool thing about living in Australia. Dads in Speedos: well, you take the good with the bad.

5 comments:

Robot Dad said...

For the record, I was NOT wearing a speedo. I do not even own one. And if I did own one, I would not wear it to nippers.

- Non-speedo wearing Robot Dad

Kate said...

This is a great post. I'm consistently fascinated by some of the bizarre sports here, but I find surf lifesaving (and the fact that they're so hardcore about it, even from a young age) to be one of the most interesting of all. What a uniquely Aussie thing for your daughter to experience!

AKenney said...

I'm just relieved by Robot Dad's post. Speedos should never be seen except MAYBE at the Olympics. Not even pro triathletes look good in them. Seriously.

Mikki said...

Tom may deny it but I think a Speedo with Bamoral Beach Club on the bum is in his closet for next Sunday's Nippers. He was just waiting for us to leave town...

Nana said...

Maybe Tom and Tony can have a Speedo competition poolside at Christmas Time..Kate can be the judge..

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