frequently asked questions - nippers

The Nipper handbook and SLSQ app contain answers to many questions. Please consult these resources for information.


My child is 12 today (born 5 October), what age group will they be in?

The age group that your child is calculated to be in is the age they are as at 30 September – your child was 11 on 30 September (turned 12 on 5 October) and therefore is classed as being in the U12 age group (even though they are 12). A child who has their twelfth birthday on 30 July would be placed in the U13 age group.

Does my child change age groups if their birthday is during a season?

No. The age group for children is determined by their age as at midnight 30 September i.e. if a child turns 8 on 30 September, they would be in U9s for that season. If a child turns 8 on 1 October, they would be in U8s for that season.

My child’s friend’s birthday puts him in different age group and they want to be together.

Sorry, the rules are that children are placed in the age groups where their birthday falls – it may be good for them to be in different age groups; they can make new friends and still socialise before and after the program.

How often do I bring my child to the beach?

The Nipper program runs on Saturday mornings, commencing from 8am. Specialised training is available at various times during the week for surf sports competitors.

What does my child need?

Bathers/togs, a club cap, water bottle, high-visability long sleeved t-shirt or long sleeved rash top, sun hat, a towel and sunscreen. If your child is competing there is also a requirement to have a high visibility rash vest. Nobby's Beach SLSC branded gear is available for purchase. Please speak to your child's liasion officer and/or junior activities subcommittee member.

What do children in Surf Life Saving do?

Depending on their age group, children will cover beach sprints and flags, swimming, board paddling, wading, basic CPR/ first aid skills, junior development and lots of fun activities. They will also learn surf lifesaving skills, surf awareness, and intrinsically develop personal and emotional skills.

Junior Awards – what are these for my child?

Each age group award has sessions they participate in to acquire relevant skills and knowledge. They will need to attend and participate in all of the compulsory sessions to attain the award. They must also complete the pool and beach evaluation to obtain the award.

Does my child have to be able to swim?

Yes, each age group has specific requirements for swimming ability. All children will complete a pool evaluation including a swim and a float, which the club conducts. This is carried out before participating in any Junior Activities session to assess their swimming and self-survival ability in the water. This will determine whether they can progress to Junior Activities. They will then be required to complete a beach evaluation (run-swim-run). The next step is for them to train to complete the competition evaluation consisting of an ocean water swim. This allows them to compete at inter-club carnivals.Only those who wish to compete are required to complete the competition evaluation.

Is this a “learn to swim” program?

NO. Although your child will benefit enormously and increase their confidence from exposure to open water-based activities, including swimming and board paddling, we do not provide specific learn-to-swim training or stroke correction. This is strongly encouraged to be taken up externally.

What can I do to help?

Parents can become involved in many areas of club activities. Areas can include helping with training, coaching, being a team manager, officiating, fundraising, providing water safety (if you gain your Surf Rescue Certificate or Bronze Medallion), cooking the club BBQ etc., but most of all supporting your child in their Junior Activities.

What happens when my child finishes all the various Junior Activities age groups and awards?

The Junior Development Program is designed to gradually introduce your child into the role of a qualified surf lifesaver and assist in patrolling the beaches. They can continue to be involved in a variety of competition events if desired. They will undertake various other awards and learn many facets of community service involvement. They can be taught specialist areas of competition and compete both at a state and national level. The club has various engagement programs that cater for youth members making the transition into patrolling members (such as YIPs). Contact the Cadet/Youth Development Officer for more information.

What equipment can my child use?

Members under the age of 16 are not permitted in surf boats; in addition, members under the age of 15 are not permitted to use surf skis. All members operating crafts must be qualified to operate the particular craft (e.g. IRB—must hold a current Bronze Medallion, as well as IRB Driver’s certification). Further care should be given to club equipment when in use. Consult the relevant SLS Gear & Equipment Policies.

Must I join a club as a parent?

At least 1 parent must join with there child for them to be eligible to participate in the junior activities program.

Can I still sign my child on after the sign on dates?

YES! Nippers can sign on any time!

What happens in bad weather?

In the event of adverse weather conditions, an SMS will be sent to all members advising of changes to the location, date or time of an event. A notice will also be posted in the Nobbys Nippers Members Facebook group.

Where is the training schedule?

All surf sports information can be found in the surf sports section of the site.

What happens if I lose something?

Speak to your child's age group liaison officer who will direct you to the correct person.