Nippers at Tathra Surf Club

EVERY SUNDAY from 9:45AM (SHARP) to 12:00PM at Tathra Beach Surf Lifesaving Club except for SCHOOL HOLIDAYS or CARNIVAL DATES

The Nippers Program

Tathra Surf Life Saving Club aims to provide a happy, safe and fun environment for its young members with the emphasis on surf education. Children develop increased confidence in the water and on the sand, leadership and teamwork skills, have fun, get fit and make great friends!

Activities are designed to introduce children to the beach environment so that they learn to enjoy, understand and respect the sea.

Parent Participation

All members of our Surf Club are volunteers. We rely heavily on parental help to be able to run Nippers. At Tathra we encourage parents to become involved and enjoy the activities with their children.

There are many ways in which you as a parent/guardian can help. You could become an age manager for the various age groups. Help out with the BBQ held most Sundays after Nippers. You could do your Bronze and become proficient and help out with water safety. Training courses are held throughout the season. We encourage you to join in.

What age does a Nipper need to be?

The Tathra Nippers and Junior Life Saving program caters for kids between the ages of 5 and 14.

  • Little Nippers: U6 – U7 years of age
  • Nippers: U8 – U14 years of age

How does my child join Nippers?

All nippers and adult members need to be registered with Surf Life Saving New South Wales. This can be done online via the links on the membership page or in person at the Nippers sign on day. 

How much does Nippers cost?

Little Nippers and Nippers must have at least one parent join as a Nipper parent or Active Member. The full list of membership categories and costs can be found on the Tatha SLSC membership page. Some larger families choose the Family membership option.

What a Nipper Needs

  • To be registered online
  • Have a completed pool swim U/8s-U/14’s (will not be able to participate in water activities until completed)
  • A Tathra Nippers Cap (must be worn on the beach and in the water during Nippers)
  • Rashie or wetsuit for sun protection and warmth in the water
  • Sunscreen, towel, water bottle, swimming goggles if preferred
  • A parent or carer to be present
  • Good listening ears and sense of fun

Click here for more info on club gear sizes and costs.

(Compulsory) Proficiency Swim at the Bega Pool

Children must complete a pool swim/proficiency which varies for the age group. This is necessary before they enter the ocean and is compulsory for carnival entry. Swim dates are notified on Tathra Surf Lifesaving Facebook page. Usually held in October at the Bega Pool. A Pool Fee is payable to pool staff on entry.

Nipper Activities

Nipper activities involve educational and water based skills depending on the child’s age.

U7 members participate in Nipper activities on a fun and educational basis only, while learning to respect the beach and ocean. At least one parent is encouraged to be on the beach to assist with their children.

For the following age groups U/8s, U/9s, U/10s, U11s, U12s, U13s and U14s, activities and training involve:

  • Swimming
  • Paddle boards
  • Running in the sand and running relays
  • Flags races
  • Learning surf survival skills
  • First aid training


Children may wish to compete in the three Far South Coast Branch carnivals held each season. Here they can test their emerging skills. At Tathra Surf Life Saving Club we encourage children to enter these carnivals and earn individual points and points for the club however competing is entirely optional.

While all children are encouraged to participate, we do not believe in applying undue pressure to compete. As such we do not hold regular point score competition at club level. At the end of the season, based on attendance, effort and improvement at club level and points gained at carnivals, individual and team achievement is recognised. The Far South Coast Branch also recognises achievement and age champions in the various events held at carnivals. Children can also compete at higher levels if they wish.


Carnivals are for all Nippers from U/8’s to U/14’s. They are an opportunity for Nippers to test their skills at different beaches against all three clubs in the Far South Coast Branch (Bateman’s Bay, Broulee, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui, Tathra and Pambula). There are many team events and relays in the water and on the beach.

Carnivals are not compulsory, instead they are a supersized Nippers and an opportunity to make even more friends! Points are scored from carnivals that go towards Age Champion Awards at the end of season presentation night. It is also how Nippers are selected to represent the Far South Coast at Interbranch (where all 11 branches across NSW compete).

What do you need to compete?

  • Cost is $5 for participating
  • Compulsory ocean swim for U/9-U/14 prior to entering the water events (completed during Nippers).
  • A pink competition singlet is compulsory to wear during competition.

The Next Step: 15-17 Year Olds

At 15 yrs many other opportunities are available. Nippers is not a prerequisite but an advantage. These young adults are able to complete their Bronze Medallion / Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue). It is a very well respected addition to their resume. It allows them to become full patrol members, gain their IRB crew and other awards, participate in surfboat rowing, surf ski and work towards a paid surf lifeguard position.


Junior Activities Coordinator:            Derek van Bracht – Ph: 0428 265 995

Nipper Committee

  • Derek van Bracht
  • Penny Blankenstein
  • Roxy Edwards-McGuire
  • Matt Alterator
  • John Carpenter
  • Meika Blair
  • Sue Hill
  • Ben Potter

Any interested parents are encouraged to join the committee – all help welcome!