Key information for Nippers

  • Registration for nippers 2019/20 will open in mid-late October and close in mid-December.  Specific opening and closing dates will be on this page in early October.
  • We warmly welcome new nippers every year, but please note our places are highly sought after and limited.  Registrations will close when an age group is full, so it is highly recommended you apply within the first few weeks of registration opening. Registration is on a first-in first-served basis.
  • ALL Nippers (U7-U14) need to submit a completed Swimming Proficiency Form when registering – even if you have done nippers before.  The 2019/20 swim form will be available in early October.
  • Tentative dates for 2019/20 are Dec 28 – Jan 5, with registration on Dec 27.  See below for more details.


  • All nippers u8 and up are welcome to join our nippers competition team.  They can attend some or all of the six junior carnivals run by Lifesaving Victoria over the season. We have a fun training program starting first week of Term 4 for nippers wanting to develop their skills (see this Nippers Development Squad document).  Additional training is held for children wanting to be part of the competition carnivals.  A requirement of competition is that children complete a Surf Swim in a set time for each age group.  This is in addition to the Swimming Proficiency Form that is required for registration and is usually completed during the nippers intensive period or at a training date before Christmas.  For more information on competitions please contact Kirilee Wilson

The State Titles are at LORNE 23/24 February 2019, so come and compete or watch the action!

Nipper Program

Our Junior life savers, aged between 6 and 14, are commonly called ‘Nippers’.  Each year we run a fantastic Summer program to educate young life savers and develop their surf life saving skills, knowledge, experience and confidence in the beach environment.  Not only will your child have fun and meet new friends they will become part of an iconic organisation that has served the Australian community for over 100 years.


The program runs from 9.30am – 11.00am each morning, with earlier starts on competition days.  The 2019/20 dates are:

Fri 27th Dec:  Registration and kit pick up 4-6pm at the Lorne Surf Club
Sat 28th Dec:  Session 1
Sun 29th Dec: Session 2
Mon 30th Dec: Session 3
Tue 31st Dec: Session 4
Wed Jan 1st: Rest Day
Thu Jan 2nd: Session 5 – Lorne Fairhaven Shield
Fri Jan 3rd: Session 6
Fri Jan 4th : Rest Day or Cosy Corner Carnival at Torquay for those keen to compete
Sat Jan 5th: Session 7
Sun Jan 6th: Session 8, followed by award presentations.

The program will cover:

  • Water awareness & safety
  • Basic to advanced water skills i.e. swimming & board riding
  • Beach events and activities
  • Learning to participate and be part of a group
  • Competitions and events within the Club

…and most importantly having loads and loads of fun!!

For those Nippers keen to continue their development after the main program, we run more training sessions over Summer, and compete in 2 or 3 carnivals and the State Titles (usually on the March Labor Day long weekend)

Age Groups

Nippers are grouped by age levels as follows:

  • Under 7 Must be 6 by September 30
  • Under 8 Must be 7 by September 30
  • Under 9 Must be 8 by September 30
  • Under 10 Must be 9 by September 30
  • Under 11 Must be 10 by September 30
  • Under 12 Must be 11 by September 30
  • Under 13 Must be 12 by September 30
  • Under 14 Must be 13 by September 30

Each age group has an Age Level Manager with one or two assistants.  The manager is responsible for the education, training and organisation of the group.

As their ages increase the nippers are gradually taught more life saving skills so they can assist others who may be in difficulty.  This training leads to children obtaining their resuscitation certificate in the under 13’s, gaining their Surf Rescue Certificate at 13 and their Bronze Medallion at 15.  The certificates and qualifications undertaken are:

  • Under 7 & 8 Surf Awareness 1
  • Under 9 Surf Awareness 2
  • Under 10 Surf Safety 1
  • Under 11 Surf Awareness 2/Basic E.A.R
  • Under 12 Sun Smart 1/Basic E.A.R.
  • Under 13 Sun Smart 2/Basic C.P.R.
  • Under 14 Surf Rescue Certificate

Key points for Parents

We are a volunteer organisation and we rely on volunteers to help run the program.  Nippers is not a child minding service, and we require parents to be active supporters, so please consider volunteering to help while you are on the beach.  There are plenty of jobs, many of which don’t require any surf lifesaving experience so if you are able to assist please register your interest via email: and see more details on our Parent Help page.  Thanks to those who have already offered to help!  We will be in touch closer to the program date.

Also note we have a clear code of conduct for responsible behaviour so that everyone gets the most enjoyment amount of their experience.  Nippers is run by an amazing group volunteers.  Please respect them and their efforts.

Competiton – Carnivals

Competition is offered in a number of different disciplines that not only assists members with maintaining their surf skills but also provides children with a regular physical activity that incorporates fun and teamwork.

Events for nippers involve swimming, board paddling, and running.  Children can also participate in team events that incorporate a number of these disciplines and may also begin to teach the basics on rescue techniques, such as the board rescue event.

Nippers have a competition calendar each season culminating in the Victorian State Titles. This year 2018/2019 season the State Titles will be held in LORNE on the 23/24 February so we are aiming for a large team representing Lorne.  In order to compete at State Titles nippers must compete in their age group at the one or more of the junior carnivals.  There are two dates on the calendar which areQualifying Carnivals where certain events such as Board and Relays require individuals or teams to qualify to compete at State Titles.

Lorne SLSC is committed to being inclusive, and children of all standards are welcome to take on the challenge of competing at carnivals.  The only requirement is that each child can competently complete a Surf Swim in a certain time set by LSV for each age group.  Clubs are able to enter any number of teams per age group in the State Titles.  The club uses a selection process for all team selections based on:

  1. Results at Carnivals over the season including the Qualifying Carnivals
  2. Club Championship results
  3. Participation at competition training

The final decision on team members rests with the individual Age Level Managers.

Competitions – Club Championships

One session of our program is allocated to Club Championships.  To be eligible for Age Level Champion the nipper must:

  • Have participated in 50% or more of the intensive nipper program
  • Be a financial member of the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club (can also be a member of another Surf Life Saving Club)
  • Compete in the correct age level group (i.e. cannot go up or down an age level)

Trophies will be allocated at our presentation B.B.Q. on our final day for the Age Level Champions of all year groups

Club Uniform

We encourage all nippers to wear club bathers throughout the intensive program.  Club apparel is compulsory during regional and state carnivals.  It is compulsory for all nippers to wear an age level cap and the Lorne nippers rashie during the intensive summer program.  Not only does this promote a sense of belonging, but importantly ensures participants are clearly visible to the age group managers and are sun safe.  The Lorne nippers rashie is included in your registration kit, and the age group cap is handed out on the first day of the program.

Club uniforms and clothing are available for purchase prior to most sessions during the intensive program.

Joining and Pre-requisites

All Nippers need to complete a Preliminary Skills Assessment in the pool prior to participating in any water activities in the nipper program.  This is to ensure children have a suitable swimming ability to allow them to safely enjoy the water activities of the program.  Download this form and complete it for each nipper and have it signed by a qualified swim coach/teacher/pool lifeguard.  Then upload the form(s) with your nipper registration(s).

Registration will open on this website from approx. 22nd October.  We look forward to seeing you at the beach!

Nipper Program Coordinator: Jo Pincus

Contact Email: