Wauchope-Bonny Hills SLSC Nippers

Come and join our 23-24 Nippers Program!

Registrations are now open for our Nippers 2023/24 Season, we look forward to you joining us!

FIRST OFFICIAL DAY of the new Nippers Season is 8 October 2023

Once you have renewed/joined, please search for the new Nippers Facebook Group and request to join to be kept in the loop.

Nippers are required to do a pool proficiency prior to the first day on the beach.  Proficiencies will be held on Sunday 27th August 2023 (9am-11am) and Saturday 2 September 2023 (9am-10am) at Port Macquarie Memorial Pool.  


Nippers is a fun and educational activity held on the beach and in the surf during the summer months. Nippers learn how to negotiate the surf and learn the qualities of being a young life saver. Nippers is open for children aged 5 to 13 years.  Children do NOT need to be super competitors or super athletes- the emphasis is on skill development and FUN!

The Wauchope- Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club Nippers program has something for the whole family!

Our Nippers learn to: 


  • Respect the surf and use it to their advantage,
  • Board paddle, wade, beach sprinting, dolphin diving, spotting a rip and making friends, and
  • How to support each other and celebrate each others achievements and skill development.

Our Nippers families:

  • Get to meet new friends and connect with our community
  • Be involved in an awesome program, there are many supporting roles that parents/grandparents/older siblings can be involved in (and no, you don’t need to be in the water!)
  • Get to be part of an awesome supportive club, that includes competitions, carnivals, BBQ’s and fun family days.

Why is being a Nipper so important?

  • As well as the fun and memories your child will be making, its also a great way to keep active and healthy!
  • The Nippers program is a perfect introduction into the surf life saving club.  Nippers is not designed to be a learn to swim program but a learn to swim in the surf program.  Nippers need a minimum swimming ability prior to entering the surf.  This is why all children must pass proficiencies at the pool prior to participating in ocean activities.  At the proficiency day, we ask the children to show our assessors how well they can float and swim.  
  • Our Nippers program is creating Surf Life Savers of the future!

For more information contact our Director of Youth Development, Nathan O’Brien on 0448 079 900  or email wbh.nippers@gmail.com

Why join nippers?

Nippers involves learning valuable skills and knowledge about the beach in a safe, stimulating and fun environment.

Additional outcomes of the nipper program include:

Protecting our kids

All adults directly involved in the delivery of the Nippers Program at Wauchope-Bonny Hills SLSC have completed a Working with Children Check, (APPLY HEREplus our Age Managers have been briefed on the SLSA Safeguarding Children and Young People Guidelines. What’s more, we actively promote the sun safe message to all our nippers to ensure sun protection is instilled from a young age.

Age groups

Your child’s age group is determined by their age at midnight on the September 30th of each year. For example, a child that is 9 years of age as at September 30th 2023, will be categorised as an U10 Nipper for the 2023/2024 season. 

Childs Age Age group
Child has turned 13 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 14
Child has turned 12 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 13
Child has turned 11 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 12
Child has turned 10 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 11
Child has turned 9 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 10
Child has turned 8 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 9
Child has turned 7 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 8
Child has turned 6 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 7
Child has turned 5 on or before September 30th 2023 Under 6

Under 12/13/14s undertake training towards becoming a qualified surf lifesaver. Once the Resuscitation Certificate has been completed, these nippers will then work towards the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) and ultimately, the Bronze Medallion.

Sunday mornings

  • Nippers line up at 8.30am in their age groups for an 8.45am start on Sunday mornings as per our Calendar.
  • If your age group is rostered on for beach set-up, we ask that you be there at 8.00am.
  • If you arrive late, please ensure the Age Manager records your child’s attendance. To ensure safety, Nippers must also inform their Age Manager before leaving or to continue swimming at the beach.

Please note: A carer must remain on the beach at all times with their child during Nippers.

  • Nipper caps and pink rash vests must be worn for all water activities during nippers. This is a strict Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) requirement to ensure nipper safety.
  • We encourage everyone to help bring equipment up from the beach after nippers has finished. Each item should be rinsed before storing away to ensure equipment remains in good condition. Many hands make light work!

We do our best to adhere to a time schedule on Sunday mornings, however surf and weather conditions do have an affect sometimes. If surf or weather conditions are poor, we organise alternative activities such as sand events or surf education, or even cancel nippers for that day.

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