Latest Nipper News


Nippers seasons are a beast of the thing, unpredictable at times, full of highs & lows but always well worth the ride!

Let’s start at the end: Junior State Champs held over the Labour Day long weekend, of March 11/12. For the 4th year running the event was held in Warnambool (The ‘Bool as it is known by our current team, who are now mostly seasoned campaigners at this somewhat climatically challenged destination.)

Make no mistake however, we have an absolute ball. Having now taken over most of Big 4 Discovery Park, we all have our spots which we book year on year, agreed rules of engagement in terms of which cabin is likely to have its door open for evening drinks, which is good for kids to congregate in, where we will meet for evening pizzas or BBQ’s…any variations or last minute changes are efficiently ironed out on What’s App & the net result is a hoot of a time for kids & parents alike.

I would be kidding to pretend it’s all bubbles & sunshine though. In fact, the State Champs event is a good metaphor for a life well lived. Rewards for planning, training & effort & satisfaction gained from a job well done. Time for fun, time for sleep, time (very early!..) to be on the beach for marshalling & competing, regardless of weather. Learning the joy of being part of a team, pulling together to achieve outcomes, & learning to put the common good above personal reward. Realising that success isn’t just about crossing the line first, but about doing your best. Dashing disappointment when things don’t go your way, learning to cope with the feeling that you’ve let yourself or worse still, others down. However, all things considered, I think most of us drive away from State Champs feeling good, feeling like we have been part of something really special, and we have. It’s a great sign that I, for one, am already looking forward to next season (I know, I say it every year, but try coming along if your family are yet to experience States, you will be glad you did!)

This year’s States team was a smaller, somewhat injury depleted group of 65 Nippers (age U9-U14) but they dug deep. States overall results came out right at the time of printing & the kids did us proud! As you can see from the table below, Fairhaven certainly held their own in the rankings amongst the “holiday program” clubs, as well as ranking as compared with club size. Medals are only part of the story of course, but they provide a handy barometer, so are included below. There were some extraordinary all-rounders who narrowly missed medals in several events; their contribution is deeply appreciated (remember we get points as a club to 6th place) & these points can cumulatively add more to our overall score than a single Gold medal. Matthew & I would like to make special mention of 1 competitor in this category: Lily Jordan, in U12 this season. Lily exemplifies everything we are striving for in the sport. She is talented, doggedly determined & stays positive & is a great sport no matter what the result. This year, for the 3rd year in a row at States, she was 4th in the Iron, the toughest of all events. She was also 4th in the individual swim & we have no doubt that she is future sports woman to watch!

Finally, I can’t leave the States topic without mentioning Matthew Chun, or The Mayor as he has become fondly known. He’s the backbone of our comp team, as is his family, including Rebecca & we are so very, very lucky to have him as our Competition Captain. Thanks Chunny, you’re the best.




Charlie Ablinger
Oscar Ablinger
Alex Angus
Elise Angus
Esther Bornstein
Laura Bray
Sam Bray
Angus Calder
Toby Callaghan
Zoe Callaghan
Annabelle Chandler
Charles Chandler
Daniel Chandler
Isabella Charlesworth
Lachlan Charlesworth
Charlie Chun
Mimi Chun

Sadie Chun
Jamieson Cohen
Charlie Cornwell
Gabe Cornwell
John Cornwell
Angus Crawford
Robert Crawford
Jazi de Gleria Cade
Charlie Doggett
Taylah Doggett
Isabelle Duncan
Nicholas Duncan
Oscar Duncan
Sienna Duncan
Phillip Fisher
Matilda Fulton
Mischa Gilligan

Joel Grigsby
Mischa Grigsby
Olivia Hamley
Kyle Hirth
Lachlan Hirth
Lily-Mei Jacob
Henry James
Ella Jordan
Lily Jordan
Emily Mackintosh
Daniel Magasanik
Samson Magasanik
Mackie Marshall
Maddie Marshall
Tili Marshall
Thomas Moore

Tess O’Callaghan
Lachlan O’Neill
Olivia O’Neill
Amelia Paton
Clara Paton
Chelsea Patrick
Tiffany Patrick
Murphy Reid
Roscoe Reid
Elise Richards
Olivia Richards
Imogen Thatcher
Lexi Williams
Darcy Winstanley

2017 Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships Overall Rank and Points

1 Mentone LSC 367
2 Ocean Grove SLSC 305
3 Mornington LSC 300
4 Williamstown Swimming and LSC (Inc.) 197
5 Jan Juc SLSC 193
6 Mordialloc LSC 181
7 Fairhaven SLSC 174
8 Portsea SLSC 155
9 Half Moon Bay SLSC 122
9 Point Leo SLSC 122
10 Warrnambool SLSC 105
11 Black Rock LSC 98
12 Hampton LSC 96
13 Anglesea SLSC 83
14 Lorne SLSC 75
15 Torquay SLSC 57
16 Venus Bay SLSC 35
17 South Melbourne LSC 31
18 Chelsea Longbeach SLSC 21
19 Bonbeach LSC 17
20 Elwood LSC 14
20 Wye River SLSC 14
20 Altona LSC 14
21 Sorrento SLSC (VIC) 10
22 Mount Martha LSC 8
23 Port Campbell SLSC 6
24 Woolamai Beach SLSC 5
25 Carrum SLSC 2
25 Frankston LSC 2
25 Seaspray SLSC 2
26 Aspendale LSC 0
26 Apollo Bay SLSC 0


As per previous newsletters & reports, we had close to 400 kids swarm onto the beach on Dec 27 for our two week Nipper program. The weather was mostly kind to us & despite the challenges presented by frequent shark sightings, for the first time in 5+ years, every session was run at either Fairhaven beach or the Painkalac.

Season highlights included:

No 1, without question: winning the Lorne/Fairhaven Shield at Fairhaven. A tight contest & lots of fun for all involved. Matthew has been waiting more than 5 years for that Shield to return, 10+ since it has been won on home turf, so a prouder man you will rarely see (truth is we all had trouble containing our excitement!)

No 2: all sessions at our beloved Fairhaven beach, oh so easy for all concerned!

No 3: Disco & Open Mic, neck & neck, such great nights at the club!

Membership & Admin

This season Nipper registration was brought forward to Oct 1-31, which for the most part, helped us avoid the nasty admin bottle neck which has the potential to derail the Christmas preparations of our devoted membership team. Once again, Julia & Vicky were in charge of membership renewals. The task these 2 women undertake in membership is enormous & we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude for the time they spend as volunteers each season, helping us sort out membership issues. Thankyou also to Pete Leonard & Robyn Riddell who are still involved with membership & continue to support & assist Julia & Vicky behind the scenes.

Julia Clarke has also done a great job running weekly Nipper sessions for Aireys Primary kids post season, so thankyou Julia for this great initiative.

This season Nicole Clarke changed my life my helping me with various key Nipper admin tasks including organising the swim forms & putting together our AGM & specialist coaches folders.

Tori Moore took over Awards Processing, another heavy admin burden, so a big thanks to both those women for all that they have done to lighter my load & keep me smiling in the lead up to the season.

More Thankyou’s

As always a big thank you to all families for their contributions. The Nipper families at Fairhaven are a wonderful example of how much a community can achieve if they pull together. Whether you get onto the sand, into the water, cook up some snags, help out with first aid or the disco, officiate at events, help with Cosy entry, mark the role, set up the beach or help sort gear packs ….or do the important job of looking after the kids while your partner does one of these tasks, I am so grateful to you all! This year when I came back to the club after Nippers was over, I found some (yet to be identified wonderful person/s) had washed, sorted & stacked all the AGM tops… this sort of thing just makes such a difference! Getting involved of course allows you get to know other families & I believe this is what makes our program & our club so special; we all feel part of it.

As always, a huge thank you to our Age Group Managers, who help guide the kids so capably through the program. We are so very fortunate to have such amazing leaders, who are not only the cornerstones of our program, but by coming back, often year after year, allow us to provide such consistency & high quality instruction to the kids. Some parents stepped in as AGMs for the comp season, & whilst we had a couple of gaps, (which we will work to avoid for next season), almost every age group was represented at States, thanks to the parents who stepped in to allow the groups to compete.

Thanks again to our specialist coaches, Marty, the 2 Simons, Mal/Simon & James. It’s a great benefit to the Nippers to have these dedicated coaches helping them refine their skills on the beach & in the water.

Thank you also to our dedicated Water Safety parents & IRB drivers (thanks Scott & Ed!) without whom, no one would be getting in the water at all! A big thanks goes to Minnie Cade, who ran water safety again this season.
Thanks also to Charlie & Jo for the great job they did in the merchandise area & all who helped them. This year Louise & Megan Hince did a huge amount behind the scenes organizing the merchandise team & Nipper gear stock take (I will still be thanking you at Easter girls, when I am on the beach with my family instead of counting gear)!

Last but certainly not least, Gareth Clarke for all his help with every aspect of IT support, which he does so efficiently & promptly behind the scenes. So many aspects of the admin end of Nippers depend on him!

Club Champions 2016/17

Another season highlight; the kids had a great day. A special mention to Taylah Doggett who has taken part in every season of Nippers & having participated in every event, each season & having continued to work on all her skills, she has been her age group club champion every season since U7’s! What an effort Taylah!

U7 Gus Callaghan Isobel Angus
U8 Oscar Doggett Maia Kelly
U9 Roscoe Reid Sadie Chun & Lexie Williams
U10 Mackie Martin Audrey James
U11 Murphy Reid Chloe Dillon
U12 John Cornwell Lily Jordan
U13 Samson Magasanik Taylah Doggett
CLUB CHAMPION John Cornwell Audrey James

Nipper U13 Encouragement Awards: Olivia Richards & Gus Crawford

Nipper Parents of The Year: Our boat boys: Ed Paton & Scott Charlesworth aka the shark patrol!

Also, a thank you to the committee & the Tim Gates Foundation for their support in approving the purchase of a new, smaller Nipper trailer to take to competitions. It’s so much easier to handle & makes the logistics of moving it much easier for Matthew.


A huge thankyou again to our major sponsors: Clarendon Lawyers & KW Doggett Fine Paper as well as Great Ocean Properties, My Jet, My Country Vet & Magellan Logistics. Every single one of our sponsors come from within our Nipper Community & dig deep each year to help us with gear & equipment costs, enabling to provide such a high quality program.

Well that’s it from me for another season, wishing you all a wonderful remainder of 2017, keep swimming & paddling & we will see you when summer roles around again in the Haven, if not sooner.

Kirstin Charlesworth
Nipper Co-ordinator, FSLC