The Williamstown Swimming & Life Saving Club’s (WS&LSC) Nipper Program aims to provide a friendly safe environment where both Nippers and Parents can increase their life saving and water safety knowledge and skills whilst having a bit of fun on the beach. This presents a great pathway to becoming a patrolling member of our Club.

Nippers commenced at Williamstown around 1996 and numbers have grown to our current average of over 300 Nippers each season.

Nippers aged 5-12 learn about surf awareness and safety through the national program as set out by Surf Life Saving Australia. This Surf Education program is structured specifically to Nippers’ ages and abilities and gradually teaches them basic lifesaving skills and to be safe around an ocean aquatic environment as well as developing their skills to compete in surf sports. Nippers participate in swimming, running, board paddling, wading, and other activities and games. They learn about waves, different beach types, how to identify a rip, and how to catch a wave. CPR and basic first aid are also part of the program.

Reference to the participant age at 30 September 2022 is relevant. For example, if your child turns 12 years of age prior to 30 September 2022, they will be in the U13 age group. Conversely, if a child turns 12 years of age after 30 September 2022, they will be in the U12 age group.

Please note: Nippers is not a ‘learn to swim’ program. There are age level swim skills that are a prerequisite to participating in the water activities in the program.

The objectives of our Nipper Program are to:

  • Develop Surf Awareness
  • Increase confidence and skills in beach activities
  • Instill and reinforce sun smart principles
  • Offer training to those wanting to pursue competition or awards
  • Progress members towards relevant surf awards
  • Promote healthy and non-threatening competition
  • Make new friends
  • Have fun on the beach


Nippers 2022/23 – registrations are NOW Closed! 

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Nippers this season!  We are committed to keeping all members of the club safe, and we thank you for your support and understanding as we follow the COVID Road Map.


WSLSC Junior Activities Handbook 2022-23



Further to LSV’s recent communications where they advised of the requirement for all members or club attendees to complete the LSV vaccination status form, please note the form is now active and ready for members to complete.

Link to form:



All Nippers must complete the preliminary swim assessment. Each Nipper needs this completed each season. This can be completed by your child’s swimming instructor. Completed forms can be emailed to


We are asking all parents / carers to support us to meet government requirements and stay safe by:
• Staying at home if you or your child have any COVID-19 symptoms or are unwell
• Practicing good hygiene
• Going directly to your allocated group areas
• Ensuring that you sign in when attending Nippers to assist with contact tracing
• Bringing your own sunscreen, water bottles and towels to avoid sharing

We look forward to seeing you on the beach!

Nipper Gear

Don’t forget your:

  • Bathers and Goggles
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen SPF 50+
  • Water bottle
  • A wetsuit – (optional) Rashie goes over the top.
  • Dry clothes


Please clearly label every item with your childs’ name. There are literally bucketloads of lost property at the end of every season.

On the Beach

Williamstown Nippers runs on Sundays from 9am. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the session start time.


  • Sign in. The Nippers attendance lists will be laid out based on Age Group. This is essential to ensure your Nipper receives their Surf Ed. award at the completion of the season.
  • Find your Nipper’s Age Group flag on the beach.
  • Grab a coloured age group cap from the basket.
  • Pop your Nipper’s towel in the tub beside the Age Group flag
  • Your Age Group Coach and Age Manager will be there waiting to take your Nipper for their session
  • At sessions end, return your age group cap to the basket.
  • Hang around for a sausage sizzle before you head home!


It is compulsory for all nippers to wear an age level cap and the Williamstown SLSC nippers rashie during the Williamstown nipper program. Not only does this promote a sense of belonging, but importantly ensures participants are clearly visible to the age group managers.


We encourage our nippers to wear club bathers throughout all summer programs. In addition, the club has a ‘dry gear’ clothing range available for both kids and adults.


Check out the range on our Merchandise page (soon to be posted). All items for purchase are available through the club merchandise shop at selected times at the Clubhouse or order at

Frequently Asked Questions

 What skills assessment will your nipper need to complete?

For any Nipper participating in a Victorian Surf Education Program, they will need to meet the Preliminary Assessment for their Age Group.


If your child would like to compete in LSV Surf Carnivals representing WSLSC they will need to pass the Competition Skills Evaluation. Competition Skills evaluations must be successfully completed before participating in any water-based activities at interclub carnivals. We strongly encourage all parents of children with limited swimming ability to enroll their child in swimming lessons first.


Nippers is NOT a ‘learn to swim’ program and your child will be required to complete a Preliminary Assessment.


Does each parent require a working with children check?

Yes. Any member over 18 years must have a valid Working with Children’s Check before their membership can be approved (Teachers and Police Officers will also need a WWCC).


Can I ‘Drop and Run’?

Absolutely not.

Nippers is not a ‘drop and run’ sport and we need parental support and involvement and you must stay close to the beach. In particular, parents of U6s and U7s you need to be able to see your Nipper during the entire session.


What if there is bad weather and/or dangerous conditions?

The Nipper Program will proceed where reasonable. A few spits of rain and wind won’t deter us, but when it is not safe and where appropriate the program will be canceled (you will be notified via Team App).


Do we have to join as a family?

Any Nipper must join as a Family Membership.

All family members aged 18 years and older must have a working with children check for the membership application to be accepted.


What age group will my child be in?

Age on 30 September 2022


Date of birth Nippers Age Group
1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017 U6
1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 U7
1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 U8
1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 U9
1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013 U10
1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012 U11
1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011 U12
1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 U13


When will the program run?

The WSLSC Nippers program for 2022/23 will be held on the following Sundays:

Session #1    13 November 2022
Session #2    20 November 2022
Session #3    27 November 2022
Session #4     4 December 2022
Session #5     11 December 2022
Session #6     18 December 2022
Session #7     22 January 2023
Session #8     29 January 2023
Session #9     5 February 2023
Session #10   12 February 2023
Session #11   19 February 2023
Session #12   26 February 2023


Note: All sessions are subject to weather conditions and COVID restrictions at the time.

Closing date for Nippers applications is 28 October 2022

How do I join Nippers?


If you would like to sign up your child for Nippers – don’t leave it till the last minute!

Your future Nipper needs to complete a preliminary swim assessment.  If your Nipper does attend swimming lessons, the assessment form can be downloaded from our Website, (under Nippers) and signed off by their swimming instructor. Please forward the completed form to


A condition of membership is that anyone over the age of 18 is required to obtain a Working with Children Check with the club and Life Saving Victoria listed as organisations.  A volunteer WWCC is free and is valid for 5 years.  You can apply or add the club and LSV to a current WWCC online at


Organisation Name and Addresses:

Williamstown SLSC, PO Box 13, Williamstown. Vic. 3016


Life Saving Victoria PO Box 353, South Melbourne Vic. 3205 Phone 9676 6900

Organisation Field:

42 Clubs, associations or movements of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature.

Once this is done, the club will then receive a notification in the mail. Please email the club at with a list of names in the family.  We will then be in contact when we have received the notifications and you can then begin the joining process.  If you have any queries, please contact Leonie via this email address.

Please note, all memberships must be current and financial prior to your nipper starting due to LSV and insurance requirements.