Sponsors enable expansion of surf education program to two new locations
Dippers launches in Warriewood and Coolangatta
Dippers, a modified nippers program for children and young adults with a range of disabilities, has ramped up its expansion with two new sites for summer 2023/24. As it enters its eighth year of operation, the Dippers program has added Warriewood in New South Wales and Coolangatta in Queensland. Their usual programs in Bondi, Coogee, Bronte and Port Macquarie will run as normal.
This expansion has been made possible by the program’s sponsors, many of whom have supported Dippers for a number of seasons. CPE Capital is one such organisation, having partnered with Dippers for the past five years.
Neurodivergent children are 160 times more likely to die from drowning than neuro-typical children. The Dippers program is seeking to change that by providing vital water skills. Volunteers from the participating SLSC’s, together with funding from sponsors, allows the program to be provided to participants at no cost.
According to Autism Swim Founder and CEO, Erika Gleeson, many families of neurodivergent children give up on water-based activities because parents have not been equipped to manage the risk and because aquatic activities, until now, have not been inclusive.
“Dippers is about teaching our participants the skills they need to survive and thrive at the beach and across all bodies of water,” Ms Gleeson said.
“Each participant is supported in a 2:1 or 3:1 capacity, and has the opportunity to work towards their individual goals. This might be putting their face in the water, riding a board or learning when to go over or under a wave.”
Dippers hopes to continue building out the program to an increasing number of sites each year, with the intent of creating a national program over time.
“The continuation of the Dippers program and its expansion are reliant on our sponsors and volunteers. Enduring partnerships, like that which we have with CPE Capital, allow us to create vital opportunities. We are grateful for this commitment to inclusion,” said Ms Gleeson.
About Autism Swim
Autism Swim (AS) is an international charity, focused on wandering and drowning prevention for those who are neurodiverse or have specific learning needs. AS is the only certifying body in the world specific to neurodiversity and aquatics. It also runs the award-nominated, modified nippers and surf education program, Dippers.
Find out about other programs CPE Capital supports.