The Albatross Nippers story

The Albatross Nippers story thumbnail.

Today in “Time of Our Lives”, we will be sharing the inspiring story of Nick Marshall and his “Albatross Nippers”.

Tell us about you?

I’m a Sports Physiotherapist that works for the Queensland Academy of Sport and Swimming Australia, as well as in the National Rugby League (NRL) and Surf Life Saving.

I own a Physiotherapy practice called Surf Life Physio, and I created the Albatross Nippers at Nobbys Beach SLSC, which is an inclusive surf Lifesaving nipper program. The program was turned into a documentary called “Included” and has now been adapted into a book of the same name.

What is your involvement with Down syndrome?

Through the Albatross Nippers, we cater for inclusion and that was where my involvement with Down Syndrome Queensland started. I have more recently been involved with the DSQ “Latch On” program on the Gold Coast where I have dropped in to talk about sport and also books.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I love helping people and being a part of their journey. Whether that’s on the beach or in the classroom, at the Olympics or just in the local community, I love to be able to use the skills I have to allow others to improve.

What are some of you / their achievements?

Personally, I’ve been lucky to receive a number of accolades, but being able to see those who I have been able to help gives me greater satisfaction.

Whether that’s helping an Olympic swimmer to get back in the pool and race, or a footballer back on the field to play, or an Albatross Nipper on to a board in the surf. These are the successes I love.

What are some of you/ their challenges?

Personally, I don’t have any real challenges, but a number of the people I work with have a range of different challenges. From intellectual impairments to physical difficulties. But these are just challenges or obstacles that we look to overcome to get back on the sand and in the water.

What are your goals and ambitions for 2022?

I am really working hard on being able to start a program with the University of Queenland, where we can combine the great work that DSQ are doing with “Latch-On” and provide more post-school learning and life experiences where we utilise the universities resources and facilities.

What advice would you give to someone with Down syndrome thinking about getting involved with Nippers?

Come on down and give it a try. The beach, sand and surf isn’t for everyone, but you won’t know until you try it. The Albatross program caters to everyone, and our goal is to get everyone into the surf club and into nippers.

What are the benefits?

There are a range of benefits, from social interaction, beach safety and surf awareness, as well as physical activity and fitness. But most of all, it’s having fun at the beach with your mates and family.

#dsqeducation #downsyndrome #inclusion