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 2023 is relevant. For example, if your child turns 12 years of age prior to 30 September 2023, they will be in the U13 age group. Conversely, if a child turns 12 years of age after 30 September 2023, 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 2023/24 – registrations close on 27 October 2023

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.


WSLSC Junior Activities Handbook 2023-24


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 highly recommend that your child’s swimming instructor completes their swimming assessment at their swimming lessons. Completed forms must be sent via email to

If this is not possible below are the other options for your Nipper to complete their assessment before the start of the season on 12 November:

  • U8-U13 only Club run session 14 October 2pm Bayfit Leisure Centre, 257 Mason Street, Altona North. RSVP via Teams App
  • U8-U13 only Club run session 22 October 2pm Bayfit Leisure Centre, 257 Mason Street, Altona North. RSVP via Teams App
  • LSV run session 28 October. Click here to register for the LSV session

For the club run sessions bring your Nipper dressed in their swim gear.


Nipper Gear

Don’t forget your:

  • Bathers and Goggles
  • Rashie / wetsuit (if cold – rashie goes over the top)
  • Broad brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen SPF50+ (applied prior to the session)
  • Towel
  • Goggles
  • Water bottle
  • Dry clothes


Please clearly label every item with your childs’ name. There are literally bucketloads of lost property at the end of every season.  If you have lost something – please check the lost property basket located on the club steps.

On the Beach

Williamstown Nippers runs on Sundays from 8.45am. 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.
  • After signing in you’ll receive a coloured age group cap from the basket
  • Find your Nipper’s Age Group flag on the beach.
  • 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 of Merchandise at the Club Store. All items for purchase are available through the club merchandise shop at selected times at the Clubhouse, for any inquiries contact

28 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 2023


Date of Birth

Nippers Age Group

1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018 U6
1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017 U7
1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 U8
1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 U9
1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 U10
1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013 U11
1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012 U12
1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011 U13


When will the program run?

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

Nippers and Starfish Nippers Parent Information Session will be held on 15th October at 2.00pm

Nippers Age Managers and Age Manager Assistant and Starfish Mentors Session will be held on 15 October at 3.00pm

Session #1    12 November 2023
Session #2    19 November 2023
Session #3    26 November 2023
Session #4     3 December 2023
Session #5     10 December 2023
Session #6     17 December 2023
Session #7      21 January 2024
Session #8      28 January 2024
Session #9      4 February 2024
Session #10    11 February 2024
Session #11   18 February 2024
Session #12    25 February 2024

Note: All sessions are subject to weather conditions

Closing date for Nippers applications is 27 October 2023

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 Ing at .

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