Click here for Nippers Calendar

Season 2020/2021


Wally Van Dam
Lindy Bills

*For Nippers Diary, please see bottom of page. 

Sign Up

Nipper Registration <-- Click Here



Welcome to Surf Life Saving Lakes Entrance (SLSLE). We hope that this information booklet will answer most of your questions in regard to the Nippers program. Should you require more information, please contact the Nippers Co-ordinators or Assistant. A contact list is available in this booklet.

The Lakes Nipper program is run for children aged from 7 to 14 commencing in November/December, on a Sunday, through to mid March. 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.

SLSLE provides a surf education program which, under the auspice of Life Saving Victoria (LSV), includes competition, training, surf awareness and first aid, all taught by experienced volunteer life savers. The program is run in a safe, friendly environment that encourages children to have a go at all activities.

When you join up with the Club, the facilities are available for you to use. We hope that this will encourage a healthy activity that the whole family can enjoy. Hopefully down the track, today’s Nippers are tomorrows surf lifesavers.



The Club aims to develop each child’s potential and whilst winning competitions is great, we are far more interested in helping a child to build their confidence, give something new a go and expand their abilities in the surf. We value good sportsmanship, the ability to work in a team and have fun with each other.


To be eligible for under 8’s you must have turned 7 by the 30th September. We DO NOT offer any programs for ages less than 7.

Age Groups Age as at 30th September
Under 8 7
Under 9 8
Under 10 9
Under 11


Under 12 11
Under 13 12
Under 14 13

* Age as at 30th September (Please contact one of the Coordinators for clarification)

Preliminary Assessment


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 SLSLE will conduct 4 separate Preliminary Assessment opportunities at the Lakes Entrance Aquadome.

Assuming your child passes, you only need to attend on of these sessions. Please see Calendar for full details.

To avoid possible disappointment of not meeting the standard on the day, it is strongly recommended that parents encourage their children to do some work in the pool before attending either assessment day. The proficiency standards for each individual age group are as follows:

Age Group Swimming Assessment Float Assessment
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 & Events


A typical Sunday morning starts at 9:30am at the Clubhouse for a briefing and getting into groups. The session normally finishes about 12pm with a sausage sizzle to follow. All Nippers are required to assemble in the courtyard of the Club to be marked off by the Age Managers. Here they will meet under their age group coloured flag. There will be a briefing delivered by the Nipper Coordinator to explain what is happening that day and coming up in the near future. Nippers are always on despite any weather conditions and they are expected to bring appropriate clothing for hot and cold conditions.

Once the roll has been marked and information delivered, all age groups will move off to their allotted activity areas. These activities include swimming and wading, board, and beach events (flags & sprints). At different times these can be altered to take into account the daily weather and surf conditions.

 Each Sunday Nippers are required to bring without fail:

  • SLSLE Nippers Skull Cap (No cap – no Nippers at all)
  • SLSLE Bathers (no board shorts)
  • SLSLE Rashie
  • SLSLE Fluoro Pink Water Visibility Vest (No vest – no water entry)
  • Broad Brimmed Hat (no baseball caps)
  • Sunscreen
  • Drink bottle
  • Towel
  • Goggles (if your child needs them in the pool they will need them in the surf)
  • Wetsuit (highly advisable)
  • Change of clothes (warm & cold)
  • Parent/Guardian


Each age group is identified with a coloured flag. These flags are easily recognized on the beach during the Sunday morning session. The same coloured flags are used at the State Carnivals for each age group. 

  • Under 8 - Red
  • Under 9 - Purple/Maroon
  • Under 10 - Yellow
  • Under 11 - White
  • Under 12 - Navy Blue
  • Under 13 - Green
  • Under 14 - Black  



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, beach safety, first aid and CPR. This theory component is built into the program for each session on a Sunday.



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:

·SWIM – swimming a course/distance suitable for the age group

·BOARD – paddling on a nipper board around a course or practice 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

·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

·WADE – individual or teams vent running in the water at about knee to waist deep


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. The S badge is timed open water swimming ability test, that if successfully completed demonstrates that you are able to swim a prescribed distance in the surf for your age group and cover the distances encountered in carnivals. The S Badge is mandatory for U12 – U14 to compete in ANY carnival event and U9 – U11 for water events only. LSV has discontinued issuing sew on S Badges. All Nippers will be coached and encouraged to complete their S Badge swims with testing held towards the end of November.
The proficiency standards for each individual age group are as follows:
  • Under 8   Run – Wade – Run (50m – 50m – 50m)
  • Under 9   Run – Swim – Run (150m open water swim with in 12 minutes)
  • Under 10 Run – Swim – Run (150m open water swim within 11 minutes)
  • Under 11 Run – Swim – Run (288m open water swim within 12 minutes)
  • Under 12 Run – Swim – Run (288m open water swim within 10 minutes)
  • Under 13 Run – Swim – Run (288m open water swim within 9 minutes)
  • Under 14 Run – Swim – Run (288m open water swim within 9 minutes)
*Surf conditions will be taken into account and may be conducted in lake.

Staff & Helpers


This award is presented to the U14 Nipper who has shown a great commitment to the program and is recognised by their peers over the season. It is not necessarily awarded to the best athlete, but the person who shows good sportsmanship and pushes their abilities to the limit. Named after Greg and Sue Oglesby who are Life Members and who dedicated many years to the Nipper program, setting the standards of where we are today.



If any parent is interested in being an Age Manager please contact one of the Coordinators. 

  • Age Managers are vital to the running of Nippers and are identified by the Fluoro vest
  • Are the first port of call for all the Nippers
  • They keep the children together as a group and accounted for
  • Make sure they are hydrated
  • Any concerns are initially dealt with by the Age Managers
  • All children and parents are to let the Age Manager know if they have to leave the beach for whatever reason. 


Chiefs of the Water Safety this season are Lindy Bills and Ian Rowe. If any parent is interested in being a Water Safety Officer this season please contact Lindy or Ian. 

  • Water Safety Officers are the BACK BONE of all Nipper water activities – No water safety means No Nippers in the water. WE ALWAYS NEED MORE!!!
  • They provide safety in the water for all Nippers and are easily identified by their orange vest and cap
  • They are qualified with Bronze Medallion or SRC and have to requalify each season
  • They provide Nippers with instruction, encouragement and confidence
  • They are rugged people with a genuine love of the water and deliver a fantastic service to our Club under somewhat trying conditions 


Apart from Age Managers and Water Safety Officers we always need parents to help with beach activities, cleaning change rooms after Nipper use, Cooking the BBQ, hosing down boards and stacking boards away in the storage room. All parents are also expected to assist with Nippers fundraising activities.

When we are away at carnivals, SLSLE are expected to help as line judges or officials. There is also the need to help set up and pack up after carnivals, at home or away. The more parents who help out, the easier it is.

As you can see, Nippers cannot run without the parents support.



Care of the equipment is paramount. Equipment is expensive to purchase and repair therefore it is critical that any training gear is handled with care. All equipment at the end of a Nipper’s session is to be washed and stored away before getting changed and leaving. It is everyone’s responsibility to help in cleaning and packing away the equipment.

Any damage to equipment must be reported to the Coordinators, Instructor or Age Manager as soon as possible. SLSLE accepts that accidental damage can occur in the surf, although misuse and abuse will not be tolerated. All Nippers are encouraged to use the appropriate board for their standard and treat it with the upmost respect. Some fibreglass racing mals and short boards are only to be used for supervised training and carnivals and are locked away.

UNIFORM - Online Store

Each Nipper is required to wear the Club uniform at every Sunday Sessions and if competing at any carnivals – Club skull cap, bathers, rashie, pink water visibility vest and broad brimmed hat. At no time Board shorts for boys/girls and bikinis for girls are allowed. We strongly urge all parents to put each Nippers name clearly on all their uniform items as the lost property collection is extensive by the end of the season. There is a Nipper lost property box which is situated in the Club Day Room.

The Club also has available for purchase for Nippers and parents Club coloured and logo windcheaters, track pants, jackets and beach towels. These items are not compulsory uniform items but certainly help to make everyone who wear them present as one unified Club at home or away.

Please contact Kris Cordery 0427565607 or to arrange size and purchase. 


Each age group has an Age Manager and assistant to supervise and assist the Nippers in getting ready before they enter and after they exit the water. When the Nippers are in the water they are under the control of the Water Safety Officers. The surf conditions are evaluated at the beginning of the day and are continually monitored throughout the Nipper session by the Coordinators and Head Coaches. If they are considered unsafe at any stage, the activities are either moved to the lake or only beach activities are undertaken. At SLSLE we follow the Water Safety Guidelines set out by LSV and are as follows –

  • Evaluate the water condition and fill out the LSV Aquatic Activity Risk Assessment and Management Form before Nippers commences
  • In the water we have a minimum ratio of 1 Water Safety Officer to every 5 children
  • No child will ever be forced into the water against their wishes
  • No Nipper will be allowed to undertake any water activities without a Club skull cap and pink water visibility vest. This allows quick and easy identification of your Nipper by the Water Safety Officers.
  • There are no exceptions to this rule.

Safety of the Nippers is paramount and will always be our first priority. Although our water safety do an amazing job, it can be very comforting to your child to know you’re also watching. Parents need to be on the beach at all times to help support your child in the water.

In case of an accident, the Club has first aid facilities and all Water Safety Officers will have their Bronze Medallion or Surf Rescue Certificate and are suitably qualified. The program will be modified if insufficient numbers are available to participate with water safety. Water Safety Officers stand out on the beach and in the water as they wear a bright orange vest and cap. Their time is logged throughout the Nipper session and will be added to their patrol hours. 


Extra training and coaching is provided for Nippers who have obtained their S Badge. This is available for boys and girls in water events. Training is normally held on a Thursday night at 5.00pm from mid January up to states. These sessions are skill and fitness based and provided for the serious Nipper competitors. 


There are normally 3 local carnivals conducted during the season; one at Lakes Entrance, Seaspray and Woodside. The emphasis of these carnivals is to join in and have a go and is a great way to meet Nippers from other Clubs, experience their beach conditions and partake of their hospitality. Remember all Nippers MUST have an S Badge before they can compete at any carnival.

Seaspray Surf Club – Foreshore Rd Seaspray – Phone 51464231 Vic Roads Map Ref 691 S11

Woodside Surf Club – Ben Rendell Drive Woodside – Phone 51871246 Vic Roads Map Ref 104 J2

The Eastern Regional Carnival is a LSV run event, please check the calendar for dates. This carnival is directed at Nippers who want to compete in the State Titles. All Nippers have to pre qualified at the Eastern Regional in Teams Events (beach and water), Iron Nipper and the Belt and Reel before they will be accepted for States. LSV does not offer Under 8 competition at the Eastern Regional and State Titles. Although LSV will let your U8 Nipper compete in U9 age bracket and qualify that way.



Every Nipper parent or guardian 18 years or over as a member of our Club must hold a current Working with Children Card. Your WWC card will need to be sighted by the Secretary before any form of Club membership can be accepted. Information and application forms can be obtained at the Post Office or online and is free of charge for volunteer organisations. This is a MANDATORY Life Saving Victoria and SLSLE Policy.



Please visit New Members & Fees for more information.



  • Be on time.
  • A parent or a nominated adult is required to remain with their Nipper during the entire Nipper’s session.
  • Good sportsmanship and team spirit must be displayed at all times.
  • Bullying, derogative comments and unsporting behaviour is OUT. SLSLE has a zero tolerance on this.
  • Children must report to their Age Manager at the beginning of each session and they must inform their Age Manager if they leave the group at anytime and for any reason.
  • The children are expected to pack up the gear.
  • No smoking is permitted in the Club or anywhere near the children during the Nipper’s session.
  • All members over the age of 18 must obtain a Working with Children Certificate. The forms are available from the Post Office and there is no cost.
  • This is a non profit Club and all parents are expected to participate in the running of the program and fundraising activities.
  • Club caps and pink vests are compulsory and are the responsibility of the Nipper. It is recommended that your Nippers name is placed in these items in case they are lost. 

Grievance Policy

The club has two Member Delegates that will be able to assist members if a matter arises. This will be dealt with under the clubs grievance policy with confidentiality.  

Nippers 14yo+


When your child completes U14 their Nipper journey will be at an end. If they are keen on the competition aspect of Nippers they can go on to compete for the senior Club in Regional and State competitions. After the age of 14, children can join the YIPS program (Youth Involvement Program) and go on to complete their Surf Rescue Certificate and then their Bronze Camp to qualify as lifesavers and patrol. As well as lifesaving, the Club requires people with a variety of skills from equipment and Clubhouse maintenance through to publicity, record keeping, instructing groups and manning the bar, so there are many ways for people to stay involved with the Club.

For many, the Surf Club is a family activity and many parents appreciate that their teenagers can spend their summers having a good time with friends but also doing something useful and where there are adult Club members around if needed. It has also been noted that some potential employers find a commitment to the lifesaving Club worthy of note as it demonstrates responsibility, willingness to help within the community, team spirit and skills such as first aid. 


 Nippers Diary Season 2018/2019


Nipper Sessions

Club Event

LSV Event

Fri  9    November

Jot Form closes



Sun11  November

Preliminary Pool Swim - Lakes   



Tues 13th November

Preliminary Swim - Bairnsdale



Sun 18  November

Preliminary Pool Swim - Lakes   



Sunday 25 November

Nipper Session  1

S Badge

Junior Carnival 1

Sunday 2 December

Nipper Session 2

S Badge


Sunday 9 December

Nipper Session 3



Saturday 15 December



Junior Carnival 2

Sunday  16 December

Nipper Session 4



Friday 21 December

Nipper Session 5

Xmas Party


Saturday 5th  January



Junior Carnival 3

Sunday 6th January

Nippers Session 6

Marathon Day  - Seniors


Sunday  13th  January

Lakes Entrance Nippers Carnival (TBC)


Saturday 19 January



Junior Carnival 4

Sunday 20 January

Nipper Session 7



Friday 25 January


Australia Day Pie Day


Friday 1 February

Nipper Session 8



Sunday 3 February

Woodside Nippers Carnival (TBC)


Junior Carnival 5 (Q)

Sunday 10 February

Seaspray Nippers Carnival (TBC)


Junior Carnival 6

Sunday 17 February

Nipper Session 10



Sat  23 February



Junior Championship

Sunday 24 February

Nipper Session 11


Junior Championship

Sun 3 March

Nipper Session 12



Friday 15 March


Nipper Presentation Night



Please note: Dates may change due to unforeseen circumstances

 Lakes Entrance, Woodside and Seaspray Carnival dates to be confirmed