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Championing community health and wellbeing in Geraldton

Worthwhile charities, organisations and not-for-profit groups are so often the backbone of our local communities. 

That’s why our Kleenheat Community Grants program is supporting local groups doing great things in communities across regional Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Our $1,000 grants are designed to give local go-getters a little helping hand in continuing to make a positive difference in our communities. After all, it’s amazing what a little grant can do.

Kleenheat team call out for a local community donation

Before we launched to the wider community, we asked Kleenheat staff in regional WA and the NT to suggest a local initiative or program they believed would benefit from a little helping hand. champion bay community grants Geraldton

Kleenheat’s Geraldton Branch Manager, Sharon Galvin, nominated the Champion Bay Surf Life Saving Club to highlight the great job they’re doing maintaining health and wellbeing amongst Club swimmers and through the Nippers program.

“Surf life saving is a great, healthy sport for kids especially, teaching them swimming and life-saving skills from a young age, as well as an appreciation for the ocean,” she said.

Surf life saving and promoting health and wellbeing

Peter Nelson, the president of the Champion Bay Surf Life Saving Club, says there’s no better way to maintain your health and wellbeing than through activities the Cub offers.

It offers a valuable community service as a safe environment to train to be a surf lifesaver, along with a variety of other activities to maintain both physical and mental health. champion bay community grants Geraldton

While the Club offers beach patrolling and surf lifesaving, it also runs a Nippers program for around 200 local kids aged between six and 14, plus a casual all-ages swimming club of about 100 locals.

One of their swimming club rules is “NKNC” (no kilometres, no cake) – essentially encouraging a regular swimming routine for club members, which is always followed by a social gathering at a café nearby.

Nelson sees value in encouraging regular social gatherings, given the diverse backgrounds and life stages of the Club members.

“A big aspect of the Club is the socialising; people having a coffee, having a chat and just keeping tabs on everybody.”

Open to all skill levels, ages, and across generations

The Champion Bay Surf Life Saving Club has been operating in the area for about 20 years.

When the City of Geraldton removed the train line along the foreshore, beach access opened up and Champion Bay and the surrounding coast became a favourite location in central Geraldton.

Sixty-three year-old Debra Silver has been a part of the Club since the foreshore redevelopment. She’s a regular swimmer and is also involved in training the Nippers, while also coordinating and managing swim training and school programs. champion bay community grants Geraldton

Debra’s two grandchildren, Abby (12) and Colby (10) are currently training to be surf lifesavers in the Club’s Nippers program and their parents are involved in Club activities and are regular swimmers.

The Nippers program allows participants to become familiar with the ocean, confident in the water, and learn a variety of surf life-saving skills.

Nippers, Abby, Colby and Bella (13) have been in the Nippers program for several years each and enjoy the social aspect, as along with learning about the ocean and the variety of sand sports and competitive activities that form part of Nippers training.

Debra enjoys the friendliness of the Club, the challenges between members to swim all year-round no matter the weather and the importance of keeping fit to maintain skill level.

She believes the Club offers a great lifestyle for her family and other locals of all ages and fitness and skill levels.

“I know 60 or 70 year-olds and even a lady who’s 80 who swims most days,” she said.

“It sets an example for all of those people that might see them as they’re walking past or walking their dog. It’s just the environment and it encourages people to be active.”

Supporting a good cause in the local community

The Champion Bay Surf Life Saving Club is a not-for-profit community initiative that relies on funding and volunteering to continue to service the Geraldton swimming community. champion bay community grants Geraldton

Many Club members are ‘lifers’ and happy to lend a hand and their time to patrolling beaches, training Nippers or helping out at events and with fundraising activities.

Nelson has been surf life-saving for 45 years and appreciates how the Club has taught him not skills in the water, but life skills he applies when running his own business.

Now retired, Nelson focuses full time on giving back to the local community through the Club’s activities and services.

“Volunteering is good, it’s a great life; the fresh air all the time, the ocean,” he said. “But also the people, they’re all community-minded people. They’re willing to get out and do activities and stuff that will help the community.”

Learn more about Champion Bay Surf Life Saving Club at

Learn more about Kleenheat Community Grants.