NIPPERS

Welcome to Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC). We hope that this page will answer most of your questions about the Nippers program. Should you require more information, please contact the Nippers co-ordinators. A contact list is available below.

The Seaspray Nipper program is run for children aged from 6 to 14 over the summer months. We encourage families to get involved, whether it is on the beach or in the water. It can be as much fun for the adults and the more help we get, the better the program is for the children.

The Nippers program is a surf education program delivered under the guidelines of Life Saving Victoria (LSV). It is based around fun, participation and water and beach safety.  The program includes encouragement to participate in a few local competitions as this helps to develop a confident Nipper.  The program includes learning all aspects of junior beach and water surf sports plus basic first aid, all taught by experienced volunteers. The program is run in a safe, friendly environment that encourages children to have a go at all activities.

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

Join Now

Nipper cost $75 (includes mandatory singlet and cap) At least one parent must register as an associate member.

All members receive members discounts, including discounted merchandise and Waves Bistro and Sand bar discounts.

As with many things this year, Nippers will be run a little differently this season and numbers will be capped to comply with government coronavirus regulations. To secure a place for your child, they must complete their swim assessment and they need to be registered with their club membership paid.

As government regulations change, so too may what we are able to do with the kids on the beach and how we do it. We want to thank everyone in advance for your help in assisting us to comply with our obligations. Some things, though, won’t change.

Swim assessments

Nippers in all age groups from under seven and up to under 14 must undergo a swim assessment. This is an annual requirement that must be completed before they can join us on the beach. The children in the under six age group do not need to have an assessment. The children will be required to swim a set distance and float for a specified time appropriate for their age.

Swim assessments will be held on Sunday 6 December at the outdoor pool at Aqua Energy in Sale. To keep numbers down at the pool, the assessments will be done in age groups. Once they have done their assessment, they are free to leave.

The times are:
9am Under Sevens and Under Eights
9.30 Under Nines and Under Tens
10am Under Elevens and Under Twelves
10.30 Under Thirteens and Under Fourteens

Please arrive at the time allocated for your child’s age group. Remember, age groups are determined by a child’s age at 30 September. 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.

Please enter from the outdoor pool entrance on Guthridge Parade. Those who are not Aqua Energy members may be asked to pay the entrance fee. If you are an Aqua Energy member, please tell the gate attendant.

You’ll also be able to buy Seaspray Surf Club merchandise, including hoodies and long sleeve T-shirts, at the pool while the assessments are underway. It’s a great chance to get some Christmas shopping done!

Registration

We asked everyone to have their child or their family registered well before the swim assessments on Sunday 6 December. If you are having problems, there will be surf club representative at the pool to help you with the online process.

All Nippers must be registered and their club membership paid before they can join us on the beach. To renew your membership, go to https://members.sls.com.au/SLSA_Online/modules/login/index.php. If you are a new member, please visit https://www.seaspraysurfclub.org.au/members/ for details. If you have any questions, you can email memberships@seaspraysurfclub.org.au.

The season ahead

Nippers this season will only be held on Sunday mornings. That means there won’t be any Friday night seasons during January as we’ve done in previous years.

We will be starting earlier, too. The kids need to be down on the beach ready to start at 9am. That means arriving in time to lend a hand getting the equipment that we’ll be using over onto the beach.

There will be two beach sessions in December on Sunday 13 December and Sunday 20 December. We’ll have a two-week break over Christmas and New Year before resuming on Sunday 10 January. Nippers will continue through January and February. We are waiting on details for any carnivals (if they can be held) before we settle on a date for our final session.

We are investigating using a ‘virtual check-in’ system, which many of you may already use for other organising activities. This will allow you to let us know if your child will be coming to Nippers each week using an app and means parents and children won’t need to register their attendance manually when they arrive at the club. We’ll let everyone know what they need to do when details are finalised.

Our Nippers won’t be gathering as one big group on or off the beach. Instead, the kids will be separated into age groups and undertake the various activities on the sand and in the water with their group.

Unfortunately, parents will not be able to gather nearby to watch their children at Nippers. This will change if government coronavirus regulations change. You can have breakfast or coffee in the bistro while you wait – just be sure to book a table and please follow the covid rules that are in place. You can watch from a distance as long as you are appropriately socially distanced and follow whatever government regulations are in place at the time to control the spread of covid-19.

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. You will need a working with children check (which is free for volunteers) and to complete on-line training. 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 one of the Nippers team (Sue-Ellen, Jie, Lori, Loz, or Ann)or email nippers@seaspraysurfclub.org.au.

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

Unfortunately, we are not able to hold barbeques this season. If you want to feed your hungry Nippers after their session, the bistro will be open. Just be sure to get in touch with the bistro team to avoid disappointment.

AGE GROUPS

Age Groups - Age as at 30th September
Under 7's - 6 Years Old
Under 8's - 7 Years Old
Under 9's - 8 Years Old
Under 10's - 9 Years Old
Under 11's - 10 Years Old
Under 12's - 11 Years Old
Under 13's- 12 Years Old
Under 14's - 13 Years Old

While age groups are important for competition (you must compete in your age group, and competition starts at under 8s), the program at Seaspray is delivered based on competence in four groups.

  • Brown - Beach fun,
  • Red -Introductory
  • White - Intermediate
  • Yellow - Demonstrated competence

CONTACTS

Email: nippers@seaspraysurfclub.org.au

Follow us on TeamApp: TeamApp

NIPPER TEAM

Age Manager Coordinator - Jie Van Berkel

Water Safety Coordinator - Col Stephenson

Safeguarding Young People Coordinator - Lauren Madeley

Beach Manager - Danny O'Brien

Nipper Admin - Lori Field

Communications - Vicki Miller

Youth Sports Coordinator - Ben Greenwood

GROUPS

Brown- No swimming required, does include wading in water, beach sprints and flags, and beach safety.  Must complete Under 7s preliminary evaluation.  Program works towards achieving Surf Play one and two education awards.

Red- Introduction to swimming past the breakers, introduction to boards, beach sprints and flags, beach safety and basic first aid, must complete Under 8 or Under 9 preliminary evaluation.  Program works towards achieving Surf Aware One and Two education awards.

White- Intermediate level, comfortable swimming beyond the breakers includes developing body surfing skills, developing board skills, beach sprints and flags, basic principles of DRSABC.  Must complete Under 10 or 11 preliminary evaluation. Program works towards achieving Surf Safe One and Two education awards.

Yellow- Demonstrated level of swimming, boards, beach sprints (1 km run) and flags and tube rescue.  Identify the principles of DRSABC introduction to CPR and manage basic patient management techniques. Must complete Under 12 or 13 preliminary evaluation. Program works towards achieving Surf Smart One and Two education awards.

PRELIMANARY 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. Before the commencement of the Nipper season, Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club will conduct a preliminary assessment of your child’s swimming ability. Encourage your children to practise if this assessment of the current preliminary evaluation criteria would cause apprehension for your child before assessment day. And if they are unable to achieve the outcomes for their age group then this will be noted and additional assistance will be provided while participating in water sessions.

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

Age Group - Swimming Assessment: Float Assessment
Under 7 - From a standing position in waist deep water perform a font glide , kick for 3m and recover to a secure position Perform a back float for 15 seconds whilst holding a buoyant aid and recover to a secure position
Under 8 - 25 metre swim (any stroke) - 1 minute survival float
Under 9 - 25 metre swim (any stroke) - 1 minute survival float
Under 10 - 25 metre swim (freestyle) - 1.5 minute survival float
Under 11 - 50 metre swim (freestyle) - 2 minute survival float
Under 12 - 100 metre swim (freestyle) - 2 minute survival float
Under 13 - 150 metre swim (freestyle) - 3 minute survival float
Under 14 - 200 metre swim (freestyle under 5 mins) - 3 minute survival float.

NIPPERS SPORTS EVENTS

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)

COMPETITION SKILLS EVALUATION

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