Latest Nipper News

Welcome to Nipper Season 2022/23

To those who have registered for the first time, welcome to the Nippers program at Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club! To those who are returning, it is great to have you back for another year. After the year that we have had we are all looking forward to some fun, sand, and surf. There is still much organising going on behind the scenes as you can imagine, but below is some information that will hopefully answer most of your questions.

We are looking forward to another great season, with a wonderful team of volunteer AGMs and Specialist coaches to once again lead our Nipper Groups. We are also looking forward to welcoming participants in the Under 15 and SRC programs who will join us on the beach to assist with water safety and in running some activities.

Season Dates, Times, Location


Tuesday 27th December 2022 to Wednesday 4th January 2023.
Please Note: There will be two Rest Days on Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd January 2023.


Sessions will run from 10.00am-12.15pm.
Each session will comprise three (3) x 45 minute activities.


Please arrive by 9.45am to have your child marked off the roll.

Nippers are to meet on the beach at their coloured Age Group Flag.


Sessions are scheduled to finish at 12.15pm, however sometimes an age group may finish an activity early, or bad weather may require an early finish. Please stay at the beach and have your phone on in case an early pick up is required.

Nippers are to remain at the Age Group Flag with the Admin Assistant and the AGM until collected by a parent or guardian.

Please do not take your child until they have been checked out by your age groups Admin Assistant. The Admin Assistant needs to see you and hear you say that you are collecting your child. If someone else will be collecting your child at the end of a session please advise the Admin Assistant when you check your child in.

Under 6 (Mozzie) parents please note that sometimes the sessions finish early as the kids can get tired and cold. Please have dry clothes, snacks and cuddles available.


We plan to hold all of our sessions on our beautiful beach at Fairhaven. However, the location on any day is always subject to change depending on the conditions. If we have to relocate the whole or part of the program we will move to either Painkalac Creek in Aireys Inlet or Point Roadknight in Anglesea. Location changes will be notified via the Team App so please make sure you have this downloaded prior to 26th December (instructions to come) & allow push notifications.

Gear Collection

All Nippers will be provided with the following uniform items:

  • Blue FSLSC Rash top – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Pinkie vest – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Blue and orange FSLSC Swim cap – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Blue Broad-brim FSLSC hat – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Fairhaven towel

The same FSLSC uniform is worn by all nippers regardless of gender and age.

Gear packs for new Nippers may be collected from the lower level of the Clubhouse between 3-4pm (only) on Monday 26th December 2022 (take the beach access stairs down one flight and come to the roller door).

Any uncollected new nipper gear packs will be put into the Age Group tubs for distribution at the age group flag on the first morning.

Please ensure that you use a sharpie to clearly name ALL of your child’s gear including the towel and water bottle. Please write your child’s first name on the front and back of their Pinkie so that they are easily identifiable.

What to Bring to Each Nippers Session

  • Blue FSLSC Rash top – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Pinkie vest – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Blue and orange FSLSC Swim cap – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Blue Broad-brim FSLSC hat – compulsory for each nippers session, comp training session and Carnivals
  • Towel
  • Water Bottle
  • Sun screen (must apply before the session begins)
  • Wetsuit (highly recommended)
  • Goggles (and an extra pair)
  • Warm clothing to change into after the session
  • Healthy snack
  • Face Mask if aged 12+
  • Hand sanitiser

Please ensure that all clothing and drink bottle and towel are clearly labelled.

Swim Proficiency

The Swim Proficiency requirements have changed in the lead up to this season however as has been the case in the past, every Fairhaven Nipper is required to complete the Swim Proficiency for their age group before participating in any water-based activity. Any child that isn’t ‘proficient’ can still be involved in our Nipper program but will require a much higher level of supervision in the water and their water activities will be limited accordingly.

There are 3 different stages based on age and each have different assessment requirements:

  • Stage 1: U6 (mozzie), U7, U8
  • Stage 2: U9, U10, U11
  • Stage 3: U12, U13, U14

To be deemed proficient, children will need to do EITHER the floatation, submersion and propulsion OR the continuous sequence for the appropriate stage / age group. Assessments can be done in either a pool or open water.

Please read the new requirements, arrange for your child/ren to be assessed and complete a separate form for EACH child.

All Swim Proficiency forms will need to be completed manually this season.

To complete the form, print a copy, have it signed off by a pool lifeguard or swim instructor & email the completed form (either in the form of a scanned copy or clear photo) to [email protected].

Swim Proficiency forms must be returned by 1 December 2022.

Any child that does not meet the required evaluation level for their age group will require a higher level of supervision when involved in water-based activities. These children must remain in shallow water and supervised on a 1:1 ratio until the child is deemed competent in relation to the preliminary skills evaluation guidelines.

Competition Skills Evaluation

Once a nipper has successfully completed the Swim Proficiency, a second assessment known as the Competition Skills Evaluation will be completed (for U9-U13). Competition Skills Evaluations will take place during the first few days of the nipper program weather providing.

Competition Skills Evaluation requirements are as follows:

Mozzies & U7 N/A (These age groups do not compete at Nippers Carnivals)
U8 N/A (These age groups do not compete at Nippers Carnivals)
U9 Minimum 150m open water swim 12 minutes
U10 Minimum 150m open water swim 11 minutes
U11 Minimum 288m open water swim 12 minutes
U12 Minimum 288m open water swim 10 minutes
U13 Minimum 288m open water swim 9 minutes

Completion of the Competition Skills Evaluation is mandatory for U12 and U13 to compete in ANY event at a Carnival and for U9-U11 for water events only (excluding wade).

Events and Activities

Opening Ceremony

Please join us on the Sunset Deck of the Club at 9.00am on Tuesday 27th December for the Opening Ceremony. This will include a Welcome to Country given by a member of the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation on whose traditional lands our Club is located.

Following the Welcome to Country, we will introduce our Nipper Captains for the 2022/23 Season (TBA).

Sausage Sizzle

We will be running a Nipper Sausage Sizzle each day.
Each Age Group is responsible for staffing the BBQ on one day. Please sign up via the BBQ Roster.

Skills Training Sessions

As in previous years we will hold some optional skills training sessions on some afternoons for kids wanting to compete in Nipper Carnivals or add to their sand and surf skills. Keep an eye on Team App for further information.

Beach Play Dates

We will schedule some afternoon informal Beach Play Dates for those children who would like to spend a little more time with their Nippers friends. These sessions will be led by our Nipper Leadership Group and will include activities and games. Keep an eye on Team App for further information.

Club Championships

Club Championships (optional) will be held on Tuesday 3rd January 2023 and are open to all registered Fairhaven Nippers (U7 – U13).

Pizza and Burger Night (Takeaway Tuesday)

On the evening of Tuesday 3rd January we will be holding “Takeaway Tuesday” at the Club as part of the Nippers Club Championships presentation. Pete’s Wood Fired Pizza will be on site making fresh pizzas and our wonderful Club Chef Pia Maher and her team will be on the grill flipping burgers. Details on how to book and pre order your meal will be sent out after Christmas.

Parent / Carer Involvement

Get involved!

All the people who make Nippers happen each year are volunteers.

It is a requirement that (at least) one parent / carer (with WWCC and double vaccination) make themselves available to help provide the Nippers program to our children.

Our program cannot run without parents stepping up to become Age Group Managers, water safety, IRB crew, first aid officers and coaches. In addition, ALL parents are expected to help out each day in setting up and packing up gear – especially boards. Please step up. Don’t wait to be asked.

Further, our nippers cannot compete at carnivals unless we have the required number of Club Officials on the beach. Full training is provided for both Age Managers and Officials – and no experience is necessary. It is a great way to be actively involved in your children’s sport and you get to be in the middle of the action rather than watching from behind the ropes!

If you have a current Bronze Medallion and / or an IRB Crew or Driver’s License or are interested in becoming and AGM or Carnival Official please let the Nippers team know ASAP by emailing [email protected].

Can I drop my children at Nippers and leave?

No! Our programs are not a babysitting service.

One responsible adult MUST be present at the sessions at all times in case of medical or other emergency or to accompany your child to the toilet or assist them change into/out of a wetsuit, find googles etc.

If a child is ill or injured, we need to be able to utilise our first aid officer and potentially return the child to their parent. Taking an Age Group Manager, coach or water safety officer off the beach to oversee a child’s care potentially leaves the other children in the program under-supervised and at risk. If you are called away from the beach, you MUST notify the Age Group Manager and leave a mobile number and expected return time or make alternative arrangements for the care of your child.

Parents of Mozzie and U7 children must stay with their group at all times.

Parents of U8+ must inform the Age Group Manager or Admin Assistant where they will be on the beach if they are not going to be with the group (e.g. the parent will be with a child in a different age group) and ensure that the AGM and Admin Assistant have their phone number.


Life Saving Victoria has confirmed that a number of Junior Carnivals will take place in the 2022 / 23 Season.

The Junior State Championships “States” will be held from 10th March to 12th March 2023 (U9-U13).

All Nippers who meet the qualification requirements are encouraged to attend and have a go.

Merchandise Shop

The FSLSC Merchandise shop will be reopening late December. The Shop is located in the Clubhouse. It stocks an extensive variety of Club clothing and merchandise including replacement FSLSC rashies, pinkies and swim caps should your nipper lose these items during the season. You can order FSLSC gear online by following this link Click and collect is available at the Clubhouse at nominated times during the Season.

Stay Up To Date

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and information from the club.

This year we will be using Team App to communicate with Members including Nipper families. Please download Team App by 26th December. Instructions on how to find the Fairhaven SLSC page on the app will be provided soon.


Nipper queries:
Mel Vallence & Tanya Singleton – [email protected]

Nicole Clarke – [email protected]