Key information for Nippers

  • Registration opens early October and closes when filled.  We warmly welcome new nippers every year, but please note our places are highly sought after and limited so please apply within the first two weeks of registration opening.
  • ALL Nippers (except Under 7’s) need to submit a completed Swimming Proficiency Form when registering – even if you have done nippers before.  CLICK HERE for a copy of the form.
  • Tentative 2018/19 dates are Dec 28 – Jan 6, with registration 4-6pm Dec 27

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 in the mornings for about 10 days, usually from the day after Boxing day to early January.  The tentative dates for 2018/19 are:

Thur 27th Dec:  Registration and kit pick up 4-6pm
Fri 28th Dec:  Session 1
Sat 29th Dec: Session 2
Sun 30th Dec: Session 3
Mon 31st Dec: Session 4
Tues Jan 1st: Rest Day
Wed Jan 2nd: Fairhaven Shield – followed by Social night at the club
Thur Jan 3rd: Session 5
Fri Jan 4th : Cosy Carnival
Sat Jan 5th: Session 6
Sun Jan 6th: Club Champs – followed by Presentation afternoon and perhaps a dinner at the club to celebrate the end of the program.

Over the 10 days, 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
  • Regional, State and National Competitions for interested qualifying nippers.

…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 Regional Championships and then the Victorian Championships.

Lorne SLSC is committed to entering our best teams at all regional and state events.  We use the Regional Championships and the Victorian Titles specifically to cater for our more competitive nippers.  In the Regional Championships, individual events are open to all, but you must qualify for most events at the Victorian Titles.  The club uses a selection process for all team selections based on;

  1. Age Level Selection
  2. Club Championship results
  3. Regional Championship results
  4. Participation at competition training

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

Competitions – Club Championships

Two sessions of our program are 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 during the intensive summer program.  Not only does this promote a sense of belonging, but it is also easier for Age Level Managers to observe the children.

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

Joining and Pre-requisites

All Nippers (expect Under 7’s) need to complete a Preliminary 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 in early October.  We look forward to seeing you at the beach!

Nipper Program Coordinator: Jo Pincus

Contact Email: