Coolum Beach Nippers Handbook

Season 2021-2022

Welcome to Coolum Beach Nippers

Nippers is one of Australia’s favorite sports and we’re thrilled that your family has chosen Coolum Beach Surf Lifesaving Club as your club! The ocean is a big part of our way of life here in Coolum and the Nippers program is dedicated to ensuring your child can be safe on the beach for the rest of their life. The Nippers program also introduces children to Surf Lifesaving and the pathway to community service through lifesaving patrols. Our program focuses on skill development, beach education, and fun!

The Nipper Program

The Coolum Nipper program is open to children aged 5 to 13. We offer a competitive and non-competitive program. Some families will join Nippers with a focus on learning to be safe in the ocean, and others will want to take that skill further and compete at carnivals. Regardless of the goal, we’re confident our program caters for every future lifesaver.

1 July 2021 Membership renewals open Returning members can renew memberships from this date online
19 July 2021 New nipper memberships open Memberships open for new nipper families from this date online
8 Aug 2021   CANCELLED
New Nippers Information Session
Unfortunately this session has been cancelled due to the Sunshine Coast lockdown.
Please note - all Nipper membership registrations are online.
20 Aug 2021 Renewing & new memberships cut-off date for 1st proficiency Memberships must be fully completed by 20 Aug for those wishing to attend the pool proficiency on 29 Aug to allow for admin processing.
Sunday 29 Aug 2021 1st Pool Proficiency - 9 am Location - Coolum Peregian Aquatic Centre, 1930 David Low Way, Coolum. Please arrive promptly @ 9 am for registration. No bookings required
3 Sept 20201 Renewing & new memberships cut-off date for 2nd pool proficiency Memberships must be fully completed by 3 Sept for those wishing to attend the pool proficiency on 12 Sept to allow for admin processing.
Sunday 12 Sept 2021 2nd Pool Proficiency - 2 pm Location - Coolum Peregian Aquatic Centre, 1930 David Low Way, Coolum. Please arrive promptly @ 2 pm for registration. No bookings required
Saturday 25 Sept 2021 Uniform Collection Day Location - Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club
Sunday 26 Sept 2021  First day of Nippers including Beach Proficiency Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club
Sat 4 Dec 2021  U11-U13 Age Champs Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club
Sunday 5 Dec 2021  Nipper Holiday Breakup Session Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club
Sunday 9 Jan 2022 Nippers Returns Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club
Saturday 22 Jan 2022  U11-U13 Age Champs Back Up Date Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club
Sunday 20 Feb 2022  Last Nippers session for the season TBC
Sunday 13 Mar 2022  Nippers Presentation TBC

Nipper Proficiency

Before joining the Nipper Program and at the start of each season, all Nippers must complete a pool and beach proficiency. Pre-season proficiencies are to ensure our Nippers will be safe in the ocean and must be completed by every Nipper at the start of every season. At Coolum, we have a higher standard for our proficiency evaluations than some other clubs and require all Nippers to complete the SLSQ competition proficiency distances as a minimum. This is because we operate on an open water beach where conditions can be challenging, plus starting this season attending Nipper carnivals is an expected part of joining Coolum Nippers.

Each nipper must complete an age-appropriate pool proficiency swim & float. If successful, they go on to complete an age-appropriate ocean proficiency swim or wade. (see below for distances) Nippers who are unsuccessful at their first pool proficiency are encouraged to try again. For Nippers who are not able to pass the pool proficiency at the second attempt, we recommend the child completes a season of swimming lessons and returns to Nippers the following year once competent in the water.

If a Nipper passes the pool proficiency but is not successful at their ocean proficiency, they can keep attempting this proficiency each Sunday session until successful.

Please Note - Until a nipper passes the ocean proficiency, they are not able to participate in any board activity and ocean swimming must be done with 1:1 water safety. If this water safety ratio is not available during a session, the non-ocean proficient Nipper will not be permitted to enter the ocean.

Age / Cap Age on 30 Sept 2021 Pool Distance Proficiency  Timed Float  Ocean Distance Proficiency Competition Distance Proficiency
    Swimming must be continuous overarm (freestyle) stroke Float must be flat on back with face out of the water and body floating on surface Swimming must be continuous overarm (freestyle) stroke. Swimming must be continuous overarm (freestyle) stroke
U6 (green cap) 5 Kick, holding onto the pool wall 30 second float Not required N/A
U7 (green cap) 6 Torpedo push off pool wall with face in water 30 second float Not required N/A
U8 (pink cap) 7 25m swim 1 minute float 25m run, 25m wade, 25m run 25m run, 25m wade, 25m run
U9 (yellow cap) 8 100m swim 1 minute float 50m run, 150m swim, 50m run Minimum 150m ocean swim
U10 (turquoise cap) 9 100m swim 1 ½ minute float 50m run, 150m swim, 50m run Minimum 150m ocean swim
U11 (white cap) 10 200m swim 2 minute float 50m run, 200m swim, 50m run Minimum 288m ocean swim
U12 (blue cap) 11 200m swim 3 minute float 50m run, 200m swim, 50m run Minimum 288m ocean swim
U13 (red cap) 12 200m swim 3 minute float 100m run, 200m swim, 100m run Minimum 288m ocean swim

Nipper Carnivals

Most Nipper Carnivals are split into the lower and upper age groups. Only one carnival in the season is an all-age carnival and that is the first carnival of the season, typically held at Rainbow Beach.

  • U8-U10 carnivals are participation only but a great way to have a go and get used to the carnival environment.
  • U11-U14 carnivals are competitive and Nippers earn points for themselves and their club.

Carnivals are a part of the Nipper program at Coolum this year and all nippers are encouraged to attend. As such if a carnival is on (either Sat or Sun of the weekend) this takes the place of the normal Sunday session for the relevant age groups. Eg the U8-U10 Teams carnival is on Saturday 13 Nov so there will be no Nippers session for the U8-U10 age groups on Sunday 14 Nov.

More information regarding carnivals can be found here - Nipper Carnivals

QLD Youth Championships - Nippers who finish top 12 at Branch will have their States carnival nomination costs covered by the club. Non-qualifying Nippers can choose to nominate for States.

There are additional carnivals throughout the season (e.g Coolangatta Gold, Ironperson Eliminator Carnival) that Nippers can choose to attend. More information about these events is posted on TeamApp. Parents must cover the entry fee, however club equipment may be available for use at these carnivals.

Club Sundays

Club Sundays are for every Nipper! Sundays are about beach education, fun, and getting wet! Sunday sessions run from 7.45 am – about 10 am.

Under the control of the Age Managers, Nippers take part in activities on the beach and in the water. The focus on Sundays is working through the SLSQ Junior Development Awards, extending Nipper’s confidence through practicing the different Nipper events, and having heaps of fun doing team events such as practice rescue scenarios and obstacle courses.

Important Note -

  • U8-U10 age groups have a carnival (on Sat or Sun) there will be no Sunday Nippers session at Coolum for these age groups.
  • U11-U13 age groups have a carnival (on Sat or Sun) there will be no Sunday Nippers session at Coolum for these age groups.

Nipper Sunday Session Schedule

7.30 am Club swim - For U11 and older Nippers.
Every Sunday the Club hosts the Kennedy Cup Swim where Nippers, Youth/Cadets, and patrolling members can participate in an equalised, timed run-swim-run to earn points throughout the season. All ocean-competent Nippers aged U11 and older are encouraged to give it a go.
7.45 am Sign-on
Parents sign Nippers in with their Age Managers on the beach – at this time Age Managers will pass on any important updates.
8.00 am Program starts
Nippers then split into their age groups with Age Managers & Coaches work through the various rotations available on the day. Weather permitting, Nippers will participate in water, beach, and education activities each Sunday.

Important Note: A parent or guardian must be on the beach and contactable at ALL times during all nipper activities including Sunday sessions, all training, and carnivals. Under no circumstances can parents/guardians drop kids at nippers and leave.

It’s also imperative to sign your child in and out and let your Age Manager know if you are leaving early or taking your nipper off the beach for any reason. Making sure every child is accounted for at all times is essential in a public and water environment.

At the conclusion of the Sunday program, parents must sign their Nipper out with the Age Manager, and at this time Nippers remove their coloured cap. This is a safety issue and indicates the parent/caregiver is now responsible for the Nipper.

Nipper Equipment

At Coolum, we are fortunate to be able to provide the full range of equipment required to participate and compete in the Nippers program. This includes a range of boards suitable for all levels of expertise. We all must take responsibility for this equipment so we can continue to be able to offer this service. We understand that sometimes damage happens - all we ask is that you inform your Age Manager or Coach of any damage so we can organise repairs.

Nipper Events

The Nipper program consists of beach events and water events.

Beach Events    
Beach races   Sprinting a set distance on the sand (approx. 70m)
1km or 2km run (dependent on age)
All age groups
Flags Start lying flat on the sand.
Get up, turn and run a short distance to grasp a length of hose standing in the sand. The event is run over several rounds with a Nipper eliminated each round until there is an eventual winner.
All age groups
Beach relays Teams of four run a relay over similar distances to the beach races. All age groups
Water Events    
Surf wade Running through shallow water around two water safety standing in knee-deep water. U6-U8
Surf swim Starting on the beach, running into the water, and swimming around two buoys and back to the beach. U9-U13
Board race Starting on the beach and running into the ocean and paddling a board around the buoys and back to the beach. U9-U13
IronPerson An individual race that includes a swim leg, board leg, and beach sprint. U11-U13
Board relay A team of three paddle their boards one at a time in relay-style around the course. U9-U13
Cameron relay A four-person relay involving a swim leg, a board leg, and two beach sprints. U9-U13
Board rescue A two-person event where one person swims out to a buoy and the second paddles out on a board and then both return to the beach on the same board. U9-U14

Age Championships

This season only U11 to U13 groups will participate in Age Championships. During this session, Nippers compete in all events and earn points. The combined total of Club Championships points determines the age champion for each age group.

  • Age championship date- Sat 4 Dec 2021
  • Back-up date - Sat 22 Jan 2022

To be eligible for a Club Championship award, children must attend more than 51% of the Sunday morning sessions throughout the season and be present on championship day.

Awards for the 2021-22 season

U6 to U10 - non-competitive

  • Most Improved - male & female
  • Rising Star - male & female
  • Coolum Culture - one per age group

U11 to U13

  • Age Champ - male & female
  • Age Champ runner up - male & female
  • Encouragement Award

There is also a range of overall awards including the Coach's Award, Most Promising, etc that are awarded out each season.

Training Sessions

At Coolum, we are lucky to have the support of talented lifesavers and parents who assist with training, coaching, and mentoring our Nippers. We are proud of our program which offers a full selection of training options designed to develop strong Nippers. We encourage all Nippers to attend training sessions to help expand on their skills and fitness. The only requirement is an enthusiastic attitude and respectful behavior.

Day Morning Afternoon
Monday     5 pm – 6 pm
General run fitness for all ages - (running shoes required and parents welcome) @ Coolum Beach
Coach Chris
Tuesday 6 am – 7 am
Ocean training: board, swim, and iron training @ Coolum Beach
Coach Nic
 
Wednesday   TBC - 4 pm – 5 pm
Beach training: beach sprints, relays, and beach flags @ Coolum Beach
Coach TBC
Thursday 6 am – 7 am
Ocean training: board, swim, and iron training @ Coolum Beach
Coach Nic
 
Friday   4 pm – 5 pm
Ocean training: board, swim, and iron training @ Coolum Beach
Coach Nic

Junior Development Awards

Surf Life Saving Australia has developed a comprehensive education program for Nippers. This program is what is delivered on Club Sundays. The content is tailored to each age group, and the program is based on participatory evaluation rather than competence. As long as Nippers are present & actively involved in each of the lessons they are eligible for the award.

Surf Play 1 and 2 (U6-U7) The focus is on play, participation, and fun. Lessons cover simple beach safety and awareness. Surf sports skills involve wading, beach sprinting, and beach flags.
Surf Aware 1 (U8) The focus is on understanding, identifying, and demonstrating safety and dangers that relate to themselves. Eco-surf discusses the beach environment and communities. Surf sports skills focus on bodyboarding, wading, dolphin-diving, beach sprint starts and beach flag starts.
Surf Aware 2 (U9) Builds on Surf Aware 1. The idea of a personal safety network is introduced so children are comfortable asking for help. Children learn about hazardous surf conditions. Eco-surf talks about the impact lifesavers have on the beach. Surf sports skills focus on board positioning and paddling, sand running technique, and diving for a beach flag.
Surf Safe 1 (U10) The focus is on recognising unsafe behavior & identify adults at surf clubs who can ask for help. Eco-surf focuses on water conservation, sun safety, and the consequences of skin damage. Children learn about rips and preventative action. Rescue techniques are introduced and children learn to use boards to assist other swimmers. Surf sports skills focus on entering and negotiating the surf on a board and beach relay baton changes.
Surf Safe 2 (U11) This level introduces the more technical aspects of lifesaving and Nippers are more physical in surf sports skills. They are encouraged to persist when needing help. There is a strong focus on recognising ‘at risk’ people. Surf sports skills focus on board dismounts, catching waves, board relay, surf swimming techniques, and crouching beach sprint starts.
Surf Smart 1 (U12) Nippers learn about their rights & responsibilities as members of SLSA and consider personal health and wellbeing. Surf sports skills focus on completing all the skills including rolling under a wave on a board, diving under large waves, beach sprint arm and leg drive, and beach flags race strategies.
Surf Smart 2 (U13) The focus is on surf lifesaving safety from various viewpoints – SLSA member safety and wellbeing, climate change and the impact on surf lifesaving, communicating with beach users and other professional emergency services, and surf safety tips. Surf sports skills focus on bringing all the skills learned in previous awards together to participate in an event for each of the disciplines.

Nipper Uniform

Each Nipper will receive an age-relevant coloured cap and a long-sleeved pink rash shirt as part of your membership fee. These are essential to Nipper identification and safety and are compulsory at every Nipper Sunday & training session.

Uniform Collection Session for 2021 - Sat 25 Sept

Club branded swimwear and clothing are available for sale via our Pop-up Uniform Shop throughout the season. Club swimwear is compulsory for Nippers who attend carnivals but optional for Club Sundays or training sessions.

Important: Please label all clothing before the start of the season as replacement items will have to be purchased.

Item Price Replacement Price
Coloured age cap   Included in registration fee $15
Long sleeve pink rashie Included in registration fee $49
Jammers $70  
Girls one piece $65  
Girls two-piece $65  
Girls Swim Shorts $40  
Competition pink rashie Provided for competing nippers $POA
Competition cap Provided for competing nippers $15

Nipper Uniform Price List

Sun Safety

The Nipper program is delivered in an environment that can pose a risk to our young Nippers – under the fierce Australian sun. To help protect our participants, Coolum Nippers has moved to a SunSmart long sleeve rashie.

All parents and caregivers are reminded to thoroughly apply sunscreen and/or zinc to any areas of skin not covered by the rashie or togs before every Nipper session.

Water Safety

Coolum Beach Nippers takes water safety very seriously. The guidelines for water safety are laid down by SLSQ and must be adhered to at every ocean session. These guidelines are non-negotiable. Due to the changing nature of beach conditions, we have several strategies in place to ensure the safety of all Nippers in the water.

The Water Safety Coordinator is responsible for the safety of Nippers in the water. They decide if the surf conditions are suitable for conducting activities and the best locations and the required water safety ratio. If conditions become unsafe, they will determine that activities must be altered or stopped.

Water Safety Personnel must be suitably qualified (Bronze Medallion or SRC) and must wear the bright orange cap and rash vest during water activities to allow for easy identification. No water race or activity will commence unless there is sufficient water safety personnel.

Any parent or caregiver who would like to complete the Bronze Medallion or Surf Rescue Certificate course to help out in the water is encouraged to do so. The more water safety we have, the safer our Nippers are.

How you can help

Coolum Nippers is run entirely by volunteers. Nippers is a wide-ranging program (water, beach, education, and fun) delivered in an environment that can present significant challenges. To ensure the smooth running of Nipper sessions & to keep our kids safe we need every family to offer support and volunteer in some way. Under our CYRMS policy the following requirements must be met:

  • All parents/caregivers/volunteers must join the club (as a minimum at the level of an Associate Member) for insurance purposes.
  • All parents/caregivers/volunteers must hold a current Working with Children Blue Card. There is no cost for the blue card and this will be organised at registration.
  • It is a legal requirement that a parent or caregiver is present at every Nippers session. Children cannot be dropped off and left.

Some of our volunteer positions require different awards and the club supports all volunteers to achieve the required awards so we can ensure the ongoing safety of our Nippers.

Volunteer Roles Within Nippers

Age Manager   Age Managers are assigned to a particular age group for the season. They are responsible for the Nippers in their group and coordinating their participation in the range of activities. Age Managers are required to complete three different awards which take about 2 hours, before the season. Age Managers are supported with a handbook of information & the committee who are available at all times. Age Managers don’t have to hold a Bronze or SRC and can fulfill the Age Manager duties from the beach.
Carnival Official   To become a Carnival Official you must complete an online course and then carry out the required number of carnivals under supervision. Each club is required to supply a ratio of 1 Carnival Official to every 8 participating Nippers.
Water Safety   To fulfill the role of Water Safety, you must hold a Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) or Bronze Medallion. SRC holders can fulfill Nipper water safety and have the option of joining a beach patrol. Bronze Medallion holders can do water safety and are expected to join summer weekend patrols. The Bronze Medallion is a benchmark for lifesavers and recognises your skills in rescue, personal survival, and emergency care. All Water Safety must sign on and off at every session and wear the supplied high-vis orange shirt and cap. Nipper water activities can not commence until we have the required number of Water Safety personnel to nippers.
Sunday Set-up / Pack up   Coolum is one of the few clubs that provide all equipment free of charge to Nippers. Parents helping with set-up and pack-up and teaching our Nippers how to carefully look after gear greatly helps to protect this costly resource.
Carnival Support   At least one parent of competitive Nippers must fulfill a role at carnivals – either official, water safety, or carnival preparation (which involves packing/unpacking the trailer with the gear and setting up/packing our tent at the carnival).

Fundraising

Coolum Nippers relies on fundraising, Nipper fees, and sponsorships to operate. Funds raised throughout the year in various initiatives allow us to keep our membership prices down and provide the equipment we need to run a safe and effective Nipper program. Families will be called on to support different fundraising initiatives a couple of times a season, including the Surf Life Saving Appeal.

Pathways after Nippers

After completing U13s nippers have the opportunity to complete the SLS Surf Rescue Certificate which is offered to U14s. Most years there is a U14 SRC Course Camp that is held during the September school holidays. Once completed, nippers transition to being Cadets and can join a Lifesaving patrol at Coolum SLSC.

Cadets can go on to take up many other opportunities throughout SLS including completing their Bronze Medalion or First Aid Certificate, becoming a Radio Operator, or learning to operate the IRB craft. Further opportunities to compete in a range of water and beach competitions through SLS are available to cadets also.

Injury and Insurance

All Nippers are covered by relevant Personal Accident Insurance or WorkCover in the case of injury. Junior members under the age of 14 are covered by the association’s Personal Accident and Public Liability Insurance that provides coverage for non-Medicare medical expenses (i.e. dental, physiotherapy) subject to a limit of $5,000. These expenses must be incurred within 12 months of sustaining injury. All injuries must be reported to your Age Manager or Coach at the time of the injury.

Nipper Code of Conduct

The Coolum Nippers Program is delivered entirely by volunteers who give their time and energy to make our program a success. In return, we expect that all our volunteers are shown respectful behavior by every Nipper and their supporting family members at all times.

To maintain a respectful level of behavior we promote and support a 3 Strikes Behavior Management policy:

Strike 1     The Age Manager will ask the Nipper to stop the inappropriate behavior
Strike 2     If the Nipper continues the inappropriate behavior, the Age Manager will remove the Nipper from the group and ask them to sit out the activity for a period of time.
Strike 3     If the Nipper continues the behavior after a “time out”, the Nipper will be asked to leave the session. The Nipper’s parent/caregiver will be required to sign the Nipper out and respect the Age Managers’ decision.

Nippers’ Code of Conduct

  • Participate to your best ability
  • Follow the rules
  • Treat volunteers with respect
  • Listen to your Age Manager and Water Safety and follow instructions at all times
  • Have fun!
  • Respect all your team members

Parents’ Code of Conduct

  • Encourage children to follow the rules
  • Encourage and recognise that the effort is as important as the result
  • Value and promote good sportsmanship
  • Do not yell at a child
  • Do not publicly question a volunteers’ decision
  • Recognise the efforts of volunteers
  • Do not make an unwilling child participate in activities
  • Remember children are involved in activities for their benefit – not yours
  • Respect the rights, dignity, and worth of every young person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, or religion.

Clubhouse Rules

All Nippers are required to abide by the following clubhouse rules:

  • No Nippers in the clubhouse on Sunday morning before 8 am
  • On Sunday mornings, only the external showers may be used by Nippers
  • After mid-week training, the inside showers may only be used if parents are active members and key holders, and remain in attendance in the change room/showers at all times to supervise Nippers.

Communication

There’s a lot that goes on with Nippers and lots to keep you informed of. Team App is the main way we will communicate with you before and during the season. This is the best way to get the information you need when you need it. All families should download Team App from the app store and request membership to Junior Lifesavers Coolum Beach.

Coolum Nippers Communication Methods

Team App    Everything will be shared here! Especially information that is regularly updated or that needs to be shared promptly e.g training schedules, carnival details, calls for help, and updates. Team App also allows for two-way communication so you’ll be able to ask the committee and coaches questions. It’s imperative you have Team App and check it regularly for relevant information. Instructions on how to set up Team App can be found here - Nipper Communication
Website   Overview of our club, our program, general info, and our policies.
Email For official club information only e.g launch of the new season and call for registrations, etc
SMS For urgent information only e.g cancellation of a training session due to unsuitable ocean conditions
Facebook   Reserved for highlights – please follow Coolum Beach Surf Lifesaving Club Facebook page

SLSQ Photography Policy 2021

Surf Life Saving Queensland has recently updated its Photography Policy. Previously members were directed to provide their consent to the use of their images in Life Saving publication areas such as newsletters, social media, and websites. This has been changed to a policy of members indicating NON-Consent for use of imagery to reduce the administrative requirements for clubs.

Coolum Beach SLSC Nippers is providing the SLSQ Photography Non-Consent Form to all nipper families to complete if they DO NOT WISH images of their nipper/s to be used within our club Team App groups, newsletter, website, social media, or annual report booklet.

All forms submitted will be kept on file by the club and a reference to the photography non-consent request may be noted on Surfguard.

Our official Club and Nipper Photographers will be made aware of these individuals and their indication of non-consent. Our administration team as well as those volunteers involved in publishing information and images to our club Team App groups, newsletter, website, social media, and annual report booklet will also receive this information.

Due to the fact that the admin team & some of these volunteers are not directly involved in Nipper activities, and therefore would not be able to identify a non-consent individual in a photo, we will request a photograph of the ‘photography non-consent nipper’ which would be kept privately on file for reference purposes.

How do I access the SLSQ Photography Non-Consent Form?

An editable PDF of the SLSQ Photography Non-Consent Form can be found here – slsqcm.entegyapp.com.au

Forms are to be completed and submitted to our Club Administrator at admin@coolumsurfclub.com.au.

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