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 Nipper season starts in October and finishes in March.

Nippers does not run over the Christmas period but it should be noted that we will need Lifesavers available for patrols over that period.

Why should I join the Seacliff Surf Club?

Seacliff is well known for being a fun and friendly club. Some say it is where casual meets competitive as we have a strong history of building athletes who have gone on to Australian and World Titles. The club prides itself on being family friendly whilst providing a social environment for all different age groups. Our youth program has proven very popular as well as our social program that encourages members to participate in restaurant nights, wine tours and theme nights. The club allows people to become as involved as much as they want without being overbearing as we respect that everyone has other commitments outside the Surf Club. Whether you want to just be a social/associate member or you want to learn a new skill, there is something for everyone at Seacliff irrespective of your age.

“I love the family atmosphere within the club. It is a great place for your kids to grow up and make great friends. I truly believe it was the best thing we could have done for our kids, it gave them great confidence and allows them to grow in an atmosphere of true support and comradeship. They have friends from the Seacliff SLSC they will keep forever!”
Andrew Jolly

Do I have to be a Surf Lifesaver if I join the Seacliff SLSC?

No you don’t have to become a Surf Lifesaver. Seacliff is a club that prospers on having a wide range of different people having fun and assisting the community in many ways. However, we do have an important surf rescue element to our club and becoming part of a patrol (even helping out in the radio room) does help you meet new people, develop new skills and participate in a very important community service. What we usually find is that new members become interested in wanting to learn to swim and then are interested in the wide range of courses the club offers including first aid, bar operations, etc. Then they decide they would like to give boat rowing a go to improve their fitness or participate in high speed IRB racing. This leads them to undertaking their Bronze Medallion and then a wide range of opportunities open up for them. Many families join so their children can have fun and learn new skills in our club. However, the competitive nature of our club is infectious so we have many parents starting to get involved in our general fitness activities and then go on to learn new skills themselves.

“Seacliff is unique in that it encourages everyone at all levels and that we have one of the most family orientated atmospheres in Australian Surf Clubs” Bly Bayliss

What do I get out of being a Surf Lifesaver?

Surf Life Saving offers its members many useful skills, the opportunity to work with a great bunch of motivated people and a great deal of satisfaction. As a member you can expect to:

  • Have a lot of fun
  • Get physically fit
  • Build teamwork skills
  • Be competitive
  • Create a network of friends
  • Perform a vital job in the community
  • Learn life saving skills

Surf Life Saving training, patrolling and competition breeds teamwork and camaraderie. These activities are fun ways to meet and share a common interest with others. Our Club offers training to improve your fitness and develop new skills.

“Seacliff is a very family orientated club and one that has a wonderful history of strong competition, great social events as well as a terrific place to hang out with good friends and family. We have a casual and relaxed atmosphere. I have so many wonderful memories at Seacliff as I have been with the club for 30 years. Some of my most memorable times have been watching our daughter Sarah win her first open state ironwoman & board championships and fantastic post State Titles celebrations back at our club.” Vicki Gregory

What do I need to do to become a Surf Lifesaver?

Volunteer Surf Lifesavers patrol Seacliff beach on Weekends and Public Holidays between mid October and April. Patrols start from 12 noon and finish at 6pm (actual times vary depending on month of the year).

To become a lifesaver the first award you need to gain is the Bronze Medallion. You have to be 15 years of age for this award. The Bronze Course takes 6 to 8 weeks (approx 4 hrs per week) to complete and includes the ability to swim in the surf, knowledge of rescue techniques with various equipment, first aid, resuscitation, and general life saving methodology.

Active patrol members are then placed onto a patrol roster and are asked to perform voluntary patrols for the Club. Members who perform patrols for the Club are eligible to compete in surf life saving carnivals.

What do I need to do to compete at a Surf Life Saving Carnival?

In order to compete in any of the disciplines (boat rowing, IRB racing, swimming, beach sprints, first aid etc) you must complete a minimum number of patrol hours as these competitions are for Surf Lifesavers. Below is a table that summarises membership types and patrol hour commitments.

How many Patrol Hours does the club expect of me annually?

Active – 16 hours (min)
Life Members – Exempt