Our Nippers Program
Open Day

We are having an open day on Saturday October 22nd from 1pm until 3. Come along and give Nippers a try!

Key Dates

The season commences on Wednesday 5th of October. Training starts at 4:30 for Under 7-10 and 5:15 for the Under 11-14’s. Further information will be provide to members through the usual communication channels.

Philosophy

Our philosophy is to provide a fun environment where kids can develop confidence in and around the water and to build fitness as well as their skills in the sport of life saving.
We provide a Nippers program to foster a love of the sport and to provide a pathway for progression up to compete at higher levels.

History

Half Moon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club has been operating for over 100 years. It is the second oldest Life Saving Club in Australia, being official incorporated only marginally behind Manly.

Location

Half Moon Bay is a fantastic Bayside location in close proximity to the Black Rock Yacht Club, Cerberus Café and the highly regarded Cerberus Beach House Restaurant. It has a shallow protected bay, which provides an ideal environment for developing confidence in the ocean.

Our location

How does it work?

Our Nippers are broken into age groups based on their age on September 30th, so a child who is 9 on September 30th is in the Under 10’s.
One or two Age Managers looks after each age group, depending on how many participants we have. For the younger age groups which typically have greater numbers, we aim to have two age managers to ensure we have the full coverage. The age managers are responsible for the coaching of the Nippers is both skills acquisition as well as and surf education. They are also responsible for managing the age groups during carnivals should the particular Nippers choose to get involved.

During training sessions, each age group will do a mixture of water safety fundamentals and a selection of beach and/or water events.
Typical beach events are:

  • Beach sprint
  • Beach run (between 500m and 1km)
  • Beach Flags
  • Beach Sprint & Relay

Typical Water Events are

  • Wade & Wade Relay
  • Swim/Individual and team
  • Board & Board Relay
  • Ironman/Ironwoman
  • Tube Race

There is also a relay called the Aqua Cameron which includes both beach and water events.

What to bring

For weekly sessions all the nippers need to wear a HMB lifesaving club cap and a Hi-Viz singlet or long sleeved rash vest. The hi-viz rash vests are a Life Saving Victoria requirements, so no rash vest – no start. Historically these rash vests have been fluorescent pink, although LSV have broadened the range of acceptable colours and we will be moving away from pink this season
Also bring:
a wetsuit if you have one (quite handy on those colder afternoons),
a towel,
sunscreen,
drinking water,
your listening ears,
a willingness to learn new skills
a parent or guardian.

Please note that a parent/guardian must be on the beach at all times for safety. Nippers is not a drop-off service

Required Skills

Under 7 is the introductory year for Nippers and we will start to teach the basic skills required. We do expect that the children do have basic swimming capability. Typically, Under 7’s do not go in the water beyond about waist deep, but if they do want to start learning board paddling, they need to be safe in the event that they fall off the board.
From Under 8 and beyond, swimming and boarding become a core part of the training. The Age Managers will begin to work on all of the key skills required.
Note for the swimming, Nippers is not a “learn to swim program”. We expect that children can swim and, early in the season, we will conduct a proficiency test or “S-Badge” to ensure the children have sufficient swimming capability to participate in water activities. This is a requirement of Life Saving Victoria. Whilst we definitely do not want to exclude anybody, it is our responsibility to ensure all children are safe. Therefore no children will be allowed to participate in water based training until they have achieved an S-Badge. The S-Badge involves a continuous freestyle swim. The distance varies from 100 – 288m depending on the age of the child.
For those children who are keen to compete, it’s important to highlight that those who are most successful in the water events have a strong swimming background. Some of our most successful athletes are swimming 5 or 6 sessions per week. For more information about how to improve your child’s swimming skills talk to your Age Manager or your Junior Activities Co-ordinator.
Throughout the season we will also be running some additional optional training sessions for those children who want to improve their skills for competition.

Coaching

Coaching at Half Moon Bay is undertaken by our age managers are all are very well credentialed. Most are current or previous competitors with plenty of medals to show off. I
n addition, we are frequently supported by our highly skilled and supportive youth and senior members who are more than happy to pass on their skills. Training for our senior competitors is on the same night as Nippers training and some of our more capable Nippers do train with the seniors to further enhance their competition skills

Equipment

Board paddling is probably the most popular activity for the Nippers and uses unique boards. the club is reasonably well stocked for board that can be used by members during training sessions.
For competition, we have a limited number of premium boards available, which are not to be used on training nights.
Many people that are likely to be involved for a number of years purchase their own boards. Under 7-10 competitors use foam boards and Under 11 and above use fibreglass boards. If anybody is interested in purchasing Nippers boards, please talk to your Age Manager or the Director of Junior Activities.
We have a club trailer, which is used to take the boards and other equipment we need for carnivals, so you don’t have to worry about transporting boards

Uniforms and Club Gear

We have a range of club clothing items that can be purchased to really show off our club brand. This clothing can be purchased from the uniform shop (just up the ramp) in the Club House. Our Uniform Shop team will be happy to help you with your uniform needs. The uniform shop will be open most night when Nippers is on and you’ll be able to view a catalogue of our uniform items and purchase them online in the near future.

Communication

We consider keeping the members informed is a important aspect of running a successful club. Accordingly, there are a range of communication channels which are used to keep members up to date. It is important that members provide the correct contact details so that they are included in the communications.
Newsletters are released monthly and will go to your email address, so please make sure we have your current email address. Please read your newsletter, as it contains a LOT of really important information about upcoming social events, training courses and carnivals.
There is a closed Facebook group for HMB members only. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/859153174141383/ to request access.
We are also trailing a new smartphone app called Team App to help manage the activities and communication within the club. More details will be provided to members upon joining.
Finally, your age manager will also provide information periodically.

Helping Out

The club is entirely run be volunteers and has string sense of community with the majority of members taking on some sort of supporting role to help ensure the overall success of our program. Some jobs are reasonably significant and require specific qualifications, whilst others are small. We encourage families to provide some sort of assistance if possible. First year members are not expected to volunteer.

Beyond Nippers

Our Nippers program ends after Under 14. The club has a strong contingent of competitors across the youth, senior and masters categories. We have state and national champions in each category and have had competitors competing in the renowned the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (the ‘Aussies’) every year and have provided several competitors in the famed “Coolangatta Gold” for several years also.

Training Program

We train in all of the disciplines that the sport offers including:

  • board
  • swim
  • wade
  • flags
  • beach run/sprint and
  • all the associated relays.

Not all disciplines are covered during each session. Often is is up to the coaching team to set the program for the day. Many things are taken into consideration, including the weather, wind, number of beachgoers and the events to be help at upcoming carnivals. Boys and girls train together.

Our main weekly training session is on Wednesday’s. This session will focus on providing a fun and enjoyable session for the Nippers. Some sessions that are close to competition carnivals are taken a little more seriously.
Our training is staggered to give each group a little more beach space. The groupings are as follows:

  • Under 7 to Under 10
    4:30 – 5:30pm
  • Under 11 – Under 14
    5:15 – 6:30pm


We also offer a number of optional training sessions for those Nippers who are focussed on competition. These sessions are typically more challenging. Often these sessions are run at alternate locations, such as surf beaches, so that our Nippers can learn how to use their skills in a surf environment.

It is the expectation that our Nippers are on the beach 10 minutes before starting time with everything need.

Competition is not the primary focus of nippers, but for kids who want an extra challenge we encourage you to attend carnivals. There are around 7 carnivals throughout the season, mostly through mid December to March, with the culmination being the state championships in March. Some carnivals are held in the bay and some at surf beaches such as Ocean Grove and Lorne.

There are no specific qualification requirements to participate in carnivals, with the exception of the Nipper State Titles, for which some of the events do require qualification, which is done at some of the earlier season carnivals. .

The uniform rules are a little more stringent for carnivals. More information will be provided down the track.

Your registration fee covers all carnivals except for states, which is around $50 per competitor.

Whilst the focus of the regular training sessions is about having fun, we do take our competition seriously for those who are that way inclined. We offer additional training sessions with our specialised coaches to further prepare for the carnivals include the annual State Championships.

We have had plenty of success over the years also. We have several current Nippers who are state champions and/or placegetters and our relay teams have also been quite successful over the years.

Membership of Half Moon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club is mandatory for children to compete in Nippers. We do encourage families to become involved. Certainly once you have two or more children involved it is cheaper to join up the family than two individual kids. Adults who join need to complete a Working With Children check, which is free and lasts 5 years. If you have any membership queries please contact Paul Francis pbfrancis@netspace.net.au

How to join?

The preference is to register electronically. you can go directly to the Surf Life Saving Victoria portal and register online. Surf Lifesaving Victoria represents all lifesaving clubs in Victoria on behalf of Surf Lifesaving Australia and all Nippers in the state need to be registered with Surf Lifesaving Australia. It is recommended that a parent or guardian or the Nippers is also registered with the Lifesaving Victoria. For Half Moon Bay, the member price is $169. It is quite cost effective to join an entire family at $333, regardless of the number of family members. Note that pricing is determined by each club and may (and does) differ.

It’s a little bit involved to get the registration in place the first time, but after that the year on year renewal process is quite easy. Once registered, you should have an option to make a payment. Unless the payment process is completed, the registration is considered as incomplete.
The SLSA portal is here.

This document here will hopefully assist you in the process of joining or renewing.

Alternatively you can complete a paper based form on a training night and you details will be entered for you. You will then get an email which will direct you to the Life Saving Victoria website to complete the registration and payment process.

Meals are available at the Club House from 5:30pm each Wednesday, so why not bring the whole family down to have dinner each week after training? Drinks are available from the club house bar, and each week a different type of meal is served. For example, spaghetti bolognaise, burgers, schnitzel etc.

There is a real sense of community within the HMBSLSC Nippers program. A large contingent of families often remain after training on a Wednesday and have a meal together on the balcony whist watching the spectacular sunset. Yes mums and dads…it is also licensed.

We also hold social events periodically throughout the season for the adults, so please come along and make some new friends.

Paul Francis – Junior Activities Co-ordinator (pbfrancis@netspace.net.au)

Cliff Goulding – Club President

Parents are also needed to help out with water safety, so if you’re keen to help, please talk to your age manager or to Paul Francis.

Membership Enquiries: Paul Francis or Elliott Lewis