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NIPPERS IS ON For 2021-22!

Make New Friends and Gain Skills on the Beach

The Nipper program is a great way for children and youth to make friends, stay active and enjoy the beach in a safe environment. Our program includes a combination of beach activities, including sprints, relays and games, and water activities such as swimming, boards and simulated rescues. Kids also receive valuable surf safety education tailored to each age group.

Advancement through lifesaving skills and certification is built into the Hampton Nippers program. In fact, we have more teen patrollers, coaches and water safety than any club on the Bay. They've all come up through the Nippers program and the younger kids look forward to becoming junior leaders themselves.

Learning and Earning Certifications As They Grow

From age 5 through 13, Nippers are awarded a Surf Life Saving Australia Surf Education Award at the end of the season if they attend at least 75% of the sessions. At age 12 (the U13 group), kids earn their resuscitation certificates through the program, and by age 13 (the U14 group), they can earn a Surf Rescue Certificate, which enables them to participate as patrol members and provide water safety. Once they reach age 14, they are invited to stay involved as junior leaders and coaches.

What to Bring, Wear and Do

The program runs each Saturday from 3:00 to 4:30pm, with a break over Christmas and returning 29th January. 

Nippers should arrive at the beach with:

  • A parent or other adult (you must remain on the beach at all times)

  • Sunscreen already applied

  • Water bottle

  • High-vis rashie (you can purchase these through HLSC or wear your own)

  • Broad-brim hat

  • Wetsuit on colder, windy days

  • Goggles

  • Towel


How To Determine Your Child's Age Group

Nippers cannot registered before their 5th birthday (the Under 6 or U6 group). Each participant is appointed to an age group based on their age on 30th September for the upcoming season. There are no exceptions. Each member’s date of birth is validated before participating.

The U7 and U8 boys groups are currently full for the 2021-22 season. Email nippers@hlsc.org.au to be waitlisted.

Swimming Proficiency Requirements
Please be aware that Nippers is not a learn-to-swim program. All participants are expected to be engaged in regular swimming lessons to ensure that they can meet the required proficiency. At their first session, each nipper will be assessed for competency in the water, in line with Surf Life Saving Australia and Life Saving Victoria requirements.

Age Group

Required Swimming Proficiency

Under 6 (age 5 on 30th Sept)

N/A—Shallow water only

Under 7 (age 6 on 30th Sept)

N/A—Shallow water only

Under 8 (age 7 on 30th Sept)

25m swim + 1 min survival float

Under 9 (age 8 on 30th Sept)

25m swim + 1 min survival float

Under 10 (age 9 on 30th Sept)

25m freestyle swim + 1.5 min survival float

Under 11 (age 10 on 30th Sept)

50m freestyle swim + 2 min survival float

Under 12 (age 11 on 30th Sept)

100m freestyle swim + 2 min survival float

Under 13 (age 13 on 30th Sept)

150m freestyle swim + 3 min survival float

Under 14 (age 14 on 30th Sept)

200m freestyle swim + 3 min survival float

For kids with special needs, find out about our all-abilities Starfish Nippers program.