Nippers at Seaspray

Welcome to Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC). We hope that this page will answer your questions about our Nippers program.

The Seaspray Nippers program is run for children aged from 5 to 13 over the summer months. We encourage families to get involved, whether it is on the beach, in the water or at the barbeque. It can be plenty of fun for adults and the more help we get, the better the program is for the children.

Nippers is a surf education program delivered under the guidelines of Life Saving Victoria (LSV). The program includes learning all aspects of junior beach and water surf sports plus basic first aid, all taught by experienced volunteers.  It is based around fun, participation and water and beach safety.  The program involves encouraging participants to take part in three local carnivals to help develop confident Nippers.  The program is run in a safe, friendly environment that supports children to have a go at all activities. Please note, Nippers is not a learn-to-swim program. Nippers will gain more enjoyment and confidence if they join with exisiting swimming experience and water awareness. 

Becoming a member of Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club includes other benefits such use of the facilities and equipment. We hope this will encourage a healthy activity that the whole family can enjoy and, down the track, today’s Nippers will be tomorrow’s surf life savers.


The 2023-24 season 

Details have now been confirmed for the 2023-24 Nippers season at Seaspray Surf Club.

Nippers this summer will be held on most Sunday mornings and two Thursday evenings in December, and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings in January. This excludes Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Our first session at the beach will be held on Sunday 3 December. Please arrive at 8.30am for a 9am start. This enables the Nippers (and any adults) to lend a hand getting the equipment we’ll be using over onto the beach.  Sessions will also be held on Sunday 10 December and Sunday 17 December. There will not be a session on Sunday 24 nor 31 December. Evening sessions will be held on Thursday 21 and 28 December.

In January, Nippers will continue to be held on Sunday mornings (excluding New Year’s Eve) and also on Thursday evenings.  Please arrive at 4.30pm on Thursdays ready to start at 5pm. Please also note, our regular Nippers sessions will not be held on Sundays when local carnivals are scheduled.

We will be asking grown-ups to volunteer to assist with cooking the barbeque. With plenty of volunteers, you’ll probably only need to help out once or twice during the season.  If you’d like to have dinner or lunch at the bistro, please book ahead.


Compulsory swim assessments

Life Saving Victoria (LSV) sets a minimum proficiency standard that every child, new or old, must meet each year before they can be enrolled into any affiliated club’s Nipper program and take part in beach activities. Before the commencement of the Nipper season, Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club will conduct a preliminary assessment of your child’s swimming ability. Please encourage your children to practise if this assessment will cause your child stress or worry. If they are unable to achieve the outcomes for their age group, this will be noted and additional assistance will be provided while participating in water sessions. It will not prevent them from taking part in the Nippers program.

The children are assessed on their ability to swim a set distance and float for a specified time appropriate for their age. A qualified swim coach will undertake the assessment. It is a capability assessment only and will help our age managers to determine the best program for your child.

The proficiency standards for each age group can be found here:


Swim assessments will be held on Sunday 26 November 2023 at Aqua Energy in Sale.

9am: Under Ten, Under Eleven, Under Twelve and Under Thirteen age groups.

9.30am: Under Six, Under Seven, Under Eight and Under Nine age groups.


Please arrive at the time allocated for your child’s age group.  Nippers should be wearing their bathers and bring a towel, goggles, drink bottle and warm clothing. The assessments will be conducted in the outdoor pool, so feel free to bring a wetsuit.

Once your Nipper has completed their swim assessment, they are free to leave. If you choose to stay at the pool, you will be responsible for supervising your Nipper.

Please enter through the outdoor entrance gate on Guthridge Parade. Those who are not Aqua Energy members will be asked to pay the entrance fee ($4.90 for children aged up to 15). If you are an Aqua Energy member, please bring your membership tag.

Remember, age groups are determined by a child’s age on 30 September, 2023. That means, a child who turns 10 years old on 1 November will be in Under Ten, as they were nine years old at the end of September.  A child who turned 12 years old on September 1 will be in Under Thirteen as they were 12 years old on 30 September.

Children must be aged 5 years or more as of September 30, 2023 to participate in Nippers. The program is not designed to cater for children aged younger than this. Children who turn five shortly after the cutoff date or over summer will find themselves in the same age group for an extra season. We strongly advise parents to wait an extra year before enrolling their child so they can fully enjoy their first season with us.

The age groups are:
Under Six – 5 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Seven – 6 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Eight – 7 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Nine – 8 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Ten – 9 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Eleven – 10 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Twelve – 11 years old on September 30, 2023
Under Thirteen – 12 years old  on September 30, 2023
You will be helping the smooth running of the morning if you have already registered for the coming season, paid your membership and know your Nipper’s age group.
Teens who have already turned 13 on or before September 30, 2023, are also welcome to join our Nippers sessions and compete at our local carnivals.  This age group and Nippers who turn 13 on or before 16 December, 2023 may be eligible to undertake the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC).  This certificate provides an introduction to the skills and knowledge required for aquatic rescue operations, surf awareness, basic first aid and CPR. This year’s course will be held on December 11, 12, 13 and 16. For more information, click here.
*All Nippers must be registered and their club membership paid before they can join us on the beach.*
All Nippers must wear a pink Seaspray singlet and club cap before they can take part in beach activities.  The singlet and cap must be worn at all sessions and at carnivals. First-time members will receive a complementary cap and singlet after they have paid their registration. If you need a new cap or singlet for whatever reason, replacements can be purchased through the club’s merchandise store. Singlets are $30 and caps are $10. If your Nipper arrives at the beach without their cap or singlet, secondhand items may be available for loan for that session. Please see your age manager and return the borrowed items at the end of the session.

Join Now

Nippers cost $75 per child.  At least one parent must register as an associate member (cost $50). Please refer to our membership options.

To renew your membership, go to

Parents are required to have a Working with Children Check (WWCC). WWCC details should be emailed to at the start of the season.

Parents also must comply with the Seaspray Code of Conduct including the Child Safe Code of Conduct.

If you want to support your child on the beach, you can become a trained Nippers volunteer or put your hand up to be an age manager.  If you would like to be a water safety officer, you will need to complete your Surf Rescue Certificate, which requires two full days of training and swimming ability. If you would like to become a Nippers volunteer, please contact the Nippers Team by emailing

We’ll again be using Stack Team App to communicate with our Nipper families. Changes to session details, news of carnivals, important dates and other reminders will be on the app. Our season calendar will also be available on Stack Team App.


Local Nippers Carnivals 

Dates have been set for our Nippers carnivals with Woodside and Lakes Entrance.

Woodside will hold its carnival on Sunday 7 January, 2024

Seaspray will hold its carnival on Sunday 14 January, 2024 , and

Lakes Entrance will hold its Nippers carnival on Sunday 21 January, 2024.

If you have any questions about the season ahead, please email us at

Why we love Nippers at Seaspray



Beach Events:

  • BEACH SPRINTS- running over a distance up to 70m depending on the age group
  • FLAGS – sprinting a short distance after lying on their stomach to compete for hoses in the sand
  • BEACH RELAYS – normally in groups of 4, same as sprints
  • LONG RUN – distance suitable for the age group

Water Events: 

  • WADE – individual or teams event running in the water at about knee to waist deep
  • SWIM – swimming a course/distance suitable for the age group
  • BOARD – paddling on a Nipper board around a course or practise catching waves
  • IRON NIPPER – swim/run/board/run over a specified distance for the age group
  • CAMERON RELAY – team event comprising of 4 members, 1 swimmer, 2 runners and 1 board
  • AQUA CAMERON – teams of four (1 runner, 1 wader,1 swimmer, 1 boarder)​ relay is wade, swim, board, a run leg between each water leg
  • BOARD RESCUE – 2 person event, one swimmer and one paddler. Patient swims to cans (buoys) and waves to the board paddler to rescue and both return to shore on the board
  • BOARD RELAY – team of 3 complete a relay race around the cans
  • SURF TEAMS RACE – team of 4 compete, same as individual swim race
  • TUBE RESCUE – using a tube float device to perform a rescue

Surf Education
The Surf Education program is an important component to the Nipper program. It provides the theory side to what the Nippers learn in the water. It will include surf awareness, first aid and CPR. Each Nipper is required to complete this side of the program and will receive a certificate at the end of the season.

Age Group – Surf Education
Under 8 Surf Aware One // Under 9 – Surf Aware Two // Under 9 – Surf Safe One  // Under 10 – Surf Safe Two //
Under 11 – Surf Smart One // Under 12 – Surf Smart Two // Under 13 – Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC)


Life Saving Victoria (LSV) sets a minimum proficiency standard that every child, new or old, must meet each year before they can compete in any carnival. Junior Activities Competition Skills Evaluations are used to ensure that Nippers who want to participate in Junior Carnivals meet the minimum swimming requirements for their competition age group. These evaluations are to be completed by the club by an appropriately qualified assessor in an open water environment.

The proficiency standards for each individual age group are as follows:

  • Under 7 Not applicable (no competition for under 7, can compete as under 8)
  • Under 8  Not applicable. Beach competition and wade in waist deep water only.
  • Under 9  150m open water swim 12 minutes (continuous freestyle)
  • Under 10 150m open water swim 11 minutes (continuous freestyle)
  • Under 11 288m open water swim 12 minutes (continuous freestyle)
  • Under 12 288m open water swim 10 minutes (continuous freestyle)
  • Under 13 288m open water swim 9 minutes (continuous freestyle)
  • Under 14 288m open water swim 9 minutes (continuous freestyle)

Three local competitions (Lakes Entrance, Woodside and Seaspray) are not run by LSV. They are run by the local clubs for local club members and are designed for fun and participation. Participation in these events is included and encouraged as part of the Nipper program.

To be able to compete at LSV Junior Carnivals and the Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships the following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • Competitors must hold the appropriate Preliminary Assessment and Competition Skills Evaluation for the age group they are competing in and they must be listed on SurfGuard before the carnival they are entering
  • To compete at the Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships, the competitor must have completed their Surf Education Award appropriate for their age group and the Club must have entered the details on SurfGuard by close of entries.

Our Junior Sports coordinator will develop a training program for those Nippers who are interested in competing in junior carnivals with the intention of competing at the Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships. Conditions for Championship eligibility is described in the 2019-2 Junior Team Managers and Officials Handbook