Frequently Asked Questions – Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club

Frequently Asked Questions

My child is 12 today (born 5th October), what age group will (s)he be in?

The age group that your child is calculated to be in, is the age they are at midnight on 30 September – your child was 11 on 30 September (turned 12 on 5 October) and therefore is classed as being in the U12 age group (even though they are 12). A child who has their 12th birthday on 30 July would be placed in the U13 age group.

Does my child change age groups if their birthday is during a season?

No. The age group for children is determined by their age as at midnight on 30 September, i.e. if a child turns 8 on 30 September, they would be in U9s for that season. If a child turns 8 on 1 October, they would be in U8s for that season.

My child’s friend’s birthday puts him in a different age group and they want to be together.

Sorry, the rules are that children are placed in the age groups where their birthday falls – it may be good for them to be in different age groups; they can make new friends and still socialise before and after the training sessions.

How often do I bring my child to the beach?

At Seacliff we train every Saturday afternoon. We also offer specialised training i.e. swim squad, board training and run training on other days throughout the week which your child is welcome to attend. These are advertised on our Facebook page. If your child is eligible to compete in Carnivals, these normally take place on a Sunday. There are typically 4-5 carnivals per season (including the State Titles event, which every child from U8s and up can participate in).

Can I drop my child at Nippers and leave?

No, it is essential that a parent or designated guardian is at the beach for the duration of the training. It is an expectation that parents will get involved in helping out each week, as the success of our club is built on our volunteers and this is an excellent way to get more involved with the club and meet new people. The kids really thrive when their parents are involved and engaged with the activities. Talk to one of the Age Group Leaders about how you can get involved.

What does my child need to bring?

Bathers, water bottle, long sleeved, sun smart t-shirt or rash to, sun hat, a towel, snack and sunscreen. If your child is going to compete in water activities then there is a requirement to have a high vis rash vest which can be purchased through the club.

What does a child in Surf Life Saving do?

Depending on their age group, children will take part in beach sprints and flags, swimming, board paddling, wading, basic CPR/ first aid skills, junior development and lots of fun activities. They will also learn surf lifesaving skills, surf awareness, and intrinsically develop personal and emotional skills. Nippers is training our future lifesavers.

Junior Awards – what are these for my child?

Each age group award has sessions they participate in to acquire relevant skills and knowledge. They will need to attend and participate in all of the compulsory sessions to attain the award.

Does my child have to be able to swim?

Each age group has specific requirements for swimming ability. All children will complete a swimming evaluation including a swim and a float, which the club will conduct at Nipper training. This is carried out before participating in any water-based activities to assess their swimming and self-survival abilities and will be used to determine whether they can progress to junior water activities. For those children who wish to compete at carnivals, there will be a requirement to complete an evaluation consisting of an ocean water swim which allows them to compete at inter-club carnivals. Only those who wish to complete are required to complete the competition evaluation.

Is this a “learn to swim” program?

NO. Although your child will benefit enormously and increase their confidence from exposure to open water-based activities, including swimming and board paddling, we do not provide specific learn-to-swim training or stroke correction. This is strongly encouraged to be taken up externally. There are various swim schools in the area and Seacliff SLSC has a swim squad with great coaches and very reasonable prices.

What can I do to help?

Parents can and are encouraged to become involved in many areas of club activity. Areas can include helping with junior training, setting up and packing up, coaching, being a team manager, officiating, fundraising, providing water safety (if you gain your Surf Rescue Certificate or Bronze medallion), cooking the club BBQ, etc., but most of all supporting your child in their Junior activities. The more you become involved, the more fun you will have with new friends and your Nippers.

What happens when my child finishes all the various Junior activities age groups and awards?

The Junior Development Program is designed to gradually introduce your child in to the role of a qualified surf lifesaver and assist in patrolling the beaches. They can continue to be involved in a variety of competition events if desired. They can be taught specialist areas of competition and compete at both State and National level. They will undertake various other awards and learn many facets of community service involvement. As Clubs we are also encouraged to conduct bridging programs such as the Youth Engagement Program (YEP) to assist transitioning to the senior club.

What equipment can my child use?

Members under the age of 16 are not permitted in surf boats; in addition, members under the age of 15 are not permitted to use surf skis. All members operating craft must be qualified to operate the particular craft (e.g. IRB – must hold a current Bronze Medallion, as well as IRB Driver’s certification). As Clubs we provide modified equipment for all Junior Activities. Refer to Policy 1.02 Use of SLSA Equipment and Bulletin 8/06-07: Use of Association Requirements Clarifications Surfboard.

Must I join the club as a parent?

At Seacliff there are various levels of membership. If you are joining your child as a member from U6 to U14, then this includes an additional club associate membership for guardians.

What is included in membership fees?

Family membership includes:

  • Participation for your child in approximately 16 Nipper Saturday sessions
  • Optional participation in additional training sessions during the week (e.g. run and boards).
  • Details of these will be advertised on our webpage and through our newsletter; ‘Bits n Pieces’
  • Access to subsidized swim squad sessions
  • Discount off purchases at the Seacliff SLSC bar and restaurant

Does my child have to compete at Carnivals?

No, Nippers is all about teaching water safety skills in open water and producing lifesavers of the future. While competition is an important tool in this process, and the Club encourages Nippers to take part, it is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged.

Can I use a Sports Voucher for Nippers?

Absolutely. The $50 can be used towards membership fees which provide access to a minimum 10 week sports program. The discount cannot be used for equipment purchase or a one-off ‘come and try’ type event. You just need to complete the form which can be downloaded from Sports Vouchers SA, complete and return to

When does the Nipper season start and finish?

The first Nipper Saturday session for 2017-18 is on 14 October 2017 when you are invited along to our Open Day and to take part in 2 free, “come and try” sessions.

The last Nipper Saturday session for 2017-18 is anticipated to be Saturday 3 March 2018. Nippers does not run over the Christmas period – the Nipper Christmas break will run from 18 December 2017 to 5 January 2018 inclusive.