nippers & Flippers


Junior Activities Manager

Kayla Christie

Our whole Junior Activities team is excited to be returning to the beach for our 2020/21 surf season to reconnect with our existing Nippers and welcome new families into the club.

My team has been working hard over winter to ensure that we again deliver a fun and entertaining range of activities to help your children be safe at the beach, improve their surf sports and lifesaving skills, and to develop lifelong friendships.

If you have any questions about our Nipper program, please call me on 0478 725 055, or speak with any of our committee members.

having fun together on and off the beach

At Port Sorell Nippers our objective is to provide a safe and fun environment for children aged 5 to 13 years to enjoy the beach and surf safely.

Nippers is a fun way for children aged 5 to Under 14 to enjoy the beach in a safe environment. The Junior Development Program is designed to ensure children have fun at the beach while participating in lessons that will give them a pathway to becoming a fully rounded participant in both lifesaving and sport.

learning with and from each other

Nipper Training

Port Sorell SLSC’s Nippers meet twice a week on Thursdays from 5-6:30pm and on Saturdays from 10:30-12pm from November until April.

The week to week activities of each age group are lead by one or more Age Managers who are trained to deliver the  Surf Life Saving Australia Junior Development Program.

The national Junior Development Program includes lessons and resources that are tailored to each different age group.  The program covers a diverse range of skills from body surfing, catching waves on a board, beach sprints and flags, first aid, CPR (for older age groups) and the surf environment.

developing life long personal and community skills

Nipper Carnivals

For those nippers interested, the program also introduces the competitive side of Surf Life Saving, allowing nippers to use their natural skills in competition at a series of carnivals held throughout the season and to promote fellowship, fair play and enjoyment while learning very valuable lifelong water and surf skills.

frequently asked questions

A child may join nippers as soon as they turn five years of age.

A child who reaches five years of age after 30 September may join nippers at that time; however, this child will be required to stay in the U6 nippers age group again the following season.

The age group that your child will be in is determined by the age they are as at the 30th September the year you are joining.

For example, if your child was 11 on the 30th September (turning 12 on the 5th Oct) they will be in the Under 12 age group (even though they are 12).

No. The age group that your child will be in for the whole season is determined by the age they are as at the 30th September the year you are joining.

Yes. Like the majority of Surf Life Saving clubs around Australia, Port Sorell SLSC requires that a parent/caregiver join with their child(ren).

This enables our Port Sorell SLSC families to get maximum benefit from the club, beyond the nipper activities.  We have a busy social event calendar throughout the year that we’d love to see all of our members enjoy and, of course, we’d love to see some of our nipper parents/caregivers join in some of our surf sports or consider joining one of our patrols!

This approach provides a number of benefits for our members, including ensuring representation for our nippers in our committee deliberations, providing insurance during club activities, allowing parents to become involved in nipper training and enhancing our already robust approach to member protection. 

No, but it certainly helps your child to participate fully in all of our nipper activities.

ALL of our water-based activities are overseen by a qualified water-safety team who hold a Surf Rescue Certificate, Bronze Medallion or higher qualification.

Once your child reaches the U8 age group, they will need to complete a Preliminary Skills Assessment including a swim and a float in a pool environment.

This is carried out before participating in any junior activity to assess their swimming and self-survival ability in the water.

This will determine whether they can progress to the water based junior activities under normal water safety supervision or they will require closer supervision.

Surf Life Saving does not provide specific learn to swim training or stroke correction. This is strongly encouraged to be taken up externally.

Your child’s swimming will benefit enormously from participating in Nipper activities and increase their confidence through exposure to water-based activities including swimming and board paddling.

A Water Safety Supervisor (WSS) is appointed for all water-based activities.

The WSS conducts a risk assessment at the start of each session, and monitors conditions throughout – activities are adapted and can be cancelled in hazardous situations.

Water Safety Personnel (WSP) are qualified and proficient lifesavers who provide surveillance and assistance in the water if required with lifesaving equipment.

You will see them on the beach in their orange high-visibility cap and rash shirt stating ‘Water Safety’ on the front and back for easy identification.

Our Flippers are what Port Sorell SLSC calls the U6 and U7 age groups.

The U6 and U7 Surf Play program is all about fun, participation and building confidence.

The lesson plans consist of surf education, personal safety, running and flags, swimming, wading, board paddling and lots of other fun games and activities!

Swimmers, club cap, long sleeve t-shirt or rash vest, a sun hat, towel, water, snack and sunscreen.

Though we have our own range of Port Sorell SLSC swimmers, the only compulsory club uniform items are a club skull cap and a high-visibility rash vest, which are required for safety purposes.

Each age group has an award which is achieved by participation throughout the season.

The award celebrates the new skills and knowledge which have been learnt.

Your child will need to attend and participate in all the compulsory sessions to attain the award.

An Age Manager is a member of the club who takes responsibility for the instruction of an age group throughout the season.

All Age Managers hold a current Working With Vulnerable People (WWVP) registration in accordance with Tasmanian legislation.  The majority of our age managers hold an SLS Age Manager qualification which provides them with the skills and knowledge to effectively facilitate Nipper training activities.

Our Age Managers are supported by a small number of coaches with specific skills and qualifications related to the different surf sport disciplines (swim, board, ski, etc.)

If you are interested in helping with the delivery of Nippers and becoming an Age Manager or (or maybe even becoming a surf lifesaver yourself!), speak to any of the committee – we love our parents getting involved!

Yes.  Port Sorell SLSC is registered with the Department of Communities Tasmania and is able to accept Ticket to Play vouchers towards club membership

Ticket to Play provides two vouchers up to $100 each towards club membership for children aged 5-18 years and listed on a Centrelink Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card or in Out of Home Care.

If you would like to use a Ticket to Play voucher towards membership at Port Sorell SLSC, please contact our Registrar, Neil Hargreaves on 0466 266 113.


There are lots of ways you can get involved at the club.

If becoming an Age Manager or surf lifesaver is not for you, there are plenty of other tasks that will need completing at your club!

Perhaps you could help with training, coaching, officiating, fundraising or cooking the Club BBQ? 

If you’re interested in helping out, please contact one of our committee and they’ll very happily assist!

Port Sorell SLSC & Surf Life Saving Tasmania continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on nippers.

We have a range of guidelines, tools, and support to ensure that junior activities can continue safely during the pandemic.

The club is required to maintain a register of all people who attend the club for any reason.  This includes the beach when we are training or competing.

We have developed an online register which must be completed prior to training.

Please complete this online attendance form each time you attend the club. Alternatively, there are paper registers at the entrance to the club if you prefer.

Port Sorell SLSC Online COVID Register

We’d love to welcome you into the Port Sorell SLSC family.

There are a number of options to join the club:

  • drop into our annual registration day
  • join online at
  • pop down to one of our training sessions and speak with one of our age managers or committee members.

Our membership fees are very reasonable, and are capped for family memberships.

You can find more details about how to sign up, and our membership fees here.