Nippers is a great way for children to make friends, be active and enjoy the beach in a safe environment. Life Saving Clubs are a wonderful setting for Surf Education and Youth Development and from the age of five, kids can access our lifesaving programs. These programs develop their skills in lifesaving and day to day life whilst being able to make lots of new friends along the way.
The Nippers program is designed to learn about lifesaving skills and safety around the beach, and provides sporting opportunities for individuals and their teams. We do expect ALL Junior Nippers U6-U14 to remain engaged in external swimming lessons or swim squads as we provide beach sport & education but not actual swimming instruction – we do reinforce the skills that they learn in the pool just in a beach setting.
When is Nippers training?
Nipper training at our club is held on a Friday night from 5:30pm to 7pm and is run from mid-November to late March at our beach. Other training sessions may also be held on Sunday mornings, or other week nights for specialist skills for older Nippers and those interested in training for events including carnival, board, beach or swimming, rescue and resuscitation.
What does my child have to wear to Nippers?
The two compulsory uniform items required for nippers are the black and white striped nippers cap, to help identify nippers on the beach, as well as a fluoro pink rash singlet to aid their visibility. These are available on the Club’s Open Days with our nippers/YIPs packs, as well as on training nights. We also request that children wear plain black swimwear and rashies; these items can be printed with club strip & logo at low cost via our club printer. Wetsuits, while not essential, are highly recommended across all juniors U6-U14 as they extend amount of time nippers can spend in the water and provide further sun protection.
How do I know what age group my child will be in?
The minimum age for children to participate in Junior Nippers in Victoria is five years (U6), up to a maximum age of thirteen years (U14) on a seasonal basis; age for a season is determined as at midnight on the 30th of September at the commencement of that season. A child cannot be involved in a Nippers program until they turn five years old, for example if a child turns five on the 1st of November, they cannot join in or partake in any activities until 1 November.
Does my child have to participate at carnivals?
We strongly encourage our Nippers to try their best and give carnivals a go as it creates a focus for training, and engages them with their teams. Bonbeach LSC nippers attend Lifesaving Victoria carnivals, regional and state championships, plus local beach and pool “fun” carnivals as scheduled. U6 & U7 are able to participate in local carnivals, while U8-U14 individuals and their teams engage in Lifesaving Victoria carnivals in addition to local activities.
Do parents/carers have to stay during training sessions?
Yes. As the life saving saying goes: Parents Supervise, Lifesavers Save Lives. We always ensure the safety of our Nippers and all beachgoers at Bonbeach, but assistance is required at times when your child may become ill or injured, or simply needs encouragement.
To make sure that Nipper programs continue to run successfully, it is important that parents put their hands up and offer assistance. Age Manager and Coaching courses are available which educate parents and volunteers on how to instruct Nipper activities on the beach and in the water.
Does my child have to attend every week?
No. Your child does not have to attend training every week, as we understand that during the summer your family may organise holidays. We encourage you to attend as many training sessions as you are able, remembering that Nippers is both an individual and a team commitment for the season.
For more information about the Nippers program, visit the Nippers page on the Life Saving Victoria Website.