Nick Marshall is a Master of Musculoskeletal & Sports Physiotherapy, and a Griffith University Alumnus with a successful practice called Surf Life Physio, on the Gold Coast.
He has a role with the Swimming Australia program at Griffith University and a teaching role as part of Griffith students’ clinical education.
Nick also has a long list of awards and accolades for his work in the community, including 2020 Australian of the Year Local Hero – QLD, and Griffith University’s 2020 Outstanding Alumnus Award Winner.
Those awards were a result of his surf-based initiative called Albatross Nippers.
The longtime surf lifesaver and member of Nobby’s Beach Surf Life Saving Club created an inclusive Nippers program, that’s become a big hit.
He says, “I really want to make it clear that it’s not a special needs program. At the same time that we have kids of all ages coming down to Nippers, we have our Albatross children. We just rotate through the same activities that my kids do in their under 9 or under 6 age groups, and generally just learn about surf skills”.
The feedback from parents has been incredibly positive, and some say that before Albatross Nippers, the beach was off-limits for their youngsters. There are now similar sessions running at surf clubs elsewhere in Queensland.
“For me, it’s some of the smaller things that have made the biggest difference. Seeing some of our buddies or helpers go on to be carers or doctors or nurses and dealing with people with special needs has been something really really special to see. And I guess just seeing a community that understands difference.
If you would like your child to be involved in the Albatross Nippers program, you can get in touch with Nick through Nobby’s Beach Surf Life Saving Club.