The Nipper program is a great way for children to make friends, be active, and enjoy the beach in a safe environment.
In Victoria there are over 8,000 Nippers aged between 5 and 13 years old that hit our beaches as part of the Junior Development Program each summer. This includes approximately 400 Nippers just at Hampton alone.
Download our new 16/17 Nippers Program FAQ here: Nipper Info Pack 2016.
Download the New Nipper Parent Presentation here: 2016-2017 New Parents Info Pack
Our program includes a combination of beach activities (flags, sprints, relays, games), water activities (swimming, wading, boards and simulated rescues), as well as surf education (with both theory and practical safety topics tailored for each age group).
Upon completion of enough program elements, Nippers qualify for an SLSA Surf Education Award which we will present at our Junior Presentation Day on the 18th of March 2017.
Our Under 14 age group runs slightly differently to younger groups, allowing Nippers to transition from structured junior activities to intermediate lifesaving activities and other development pathways. Under 14 participants will undertake their Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) and will start their patrolling life on the beach as well as providing coaching support to our youngest Nipper age groups. They will also continue their personal development in a safe and fun environment.
Please be aware that Nippers is not a learn-to-swim program.
All participants in the Under 8 age groups and above are assessed for competency in the water, in line with SLSA and LSV requirements outlined below.
|We highly recommend that children familiarise themselves with our beach and water conditions before the programme starts, and if possible visit our friends at Toby Haenen Swim Centre in Sandringham for swimming lessons.|
Pre-requisites for Nippers
In Australia, the minimum age for children to participate in Nippers is 5 years (Under 6) up to a maximum of 13 years (Under 14) on a seasonal basis. Children cannot be registered for the programme. or as members of any club before their 5th birthday.
Nippers are appointed to a particular age group each season based on their age on 30th September – a new member’s date of birth will be validated when our registrar sights their birth certificate or passport. For the 2016-2017 season, Nippers will be automatically placed in the following groups and programs The SLSA Surf Education Award relevant to your Nipper’s age group will be issued at the end of the season, and is dependent on at least a 75% attendance in our program.
What are my obligations to the club?
We are all volunteers, and we ask that all parents (or guardians) get involved in some way in order to keep the costs of our programs to a reasonable level. All parents or guardians attending the club need to be members, and will automatically be assigned a club duty approximately 2-3 times per season unless they are a registered volunteer. These duties include Age Group helper, BBQ/Kiosk helper or Gear Shop helper.
We require parents or guardians to remain on the beach during Nippers, and specifically within earshot of either their child’s Age Group Manager or the club’s PA system. This is important as we must be able to immediately locate a parent in the unlikely event of injury or other incident. There are also occasions where we need to reunite lost children with parents during or after a session.
Please Note: The Nippers programme at Hampton LSC is not a “drop-off” program.
Working with Children Checks
Australian legislation requires all club members over the age of 18 to hold a valid Working with Children Check (WWCC), registered to both HLSC and Lifesaving Victoria, regardless of club duties or vocation. This is a simple process requiring the presentation of the appropriate form at your local post office, or if you already hold a WWCC with another organisation (including your vocation such as teacher or police officer), you just need to add our organisations, via the online Portal on the Department of Justice website.
There are no exceptions to this policy, with membership only being accepted when the club receives notification directly from the Department of Justice. Please see our website for more information on WWCC requirements.
Want to volunteer?
We need volunteers to help run our programs and activities – it’s not hard and not much work as you will be on the beach anyway, and you will find it the most rewarding and enjoyable experience. Please get in touch with us if you want to take on a volunteer role within the club. Full training and accreditation (where necessary) is provided.