Find out everything you need to know about Bilgola nippers on this page:
About Bilgola Nippers
Bilgola Surf Life Saving club is an all-inclusive family club where your children and you can have lots of fun and make new friends while learning essential surf safety skills.
Children are taught how to respect and read the surf in a safe and nurturing environment. We run a variety of activities to support all skill levels, for children from the age of 5 to 13 (see Age Group details below).The girl and boy ‘Nipper of the Week’ from each age group gets an award!
Each week the Bilgola nippers ‘family’ has a BBQ after nippers in our stunning BBQ garden, with food and drinks for sale.
Interested nippers will also get lots of support to compete in local and state carnivals.
Register a nipper!
All Bilgola nippers must be registered and have at least one parent who is a registered member of Bilgola SLSC. Unfortunately due to strict insurance requirements unregistered nippers are not able to join in activities.
New and returning nippers can register and pay online using the Surf Life Saving Members Portal. If you have never used the Members Portal before you will need to create an account. Please click here for a video on how to create a Members Portal account.
All Bilgola SLSC fees (both nippers and senior members) can be found here.
Nippers must participate in their correct age group every week. Age group requirements are set by Surf Lifesaving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch and implemented by Bilgola SLSC. Key requirements are:
Children must have turned 5 before 30 September of the year that they are eligible to join Nippers.
Children are registered in the age group according to their age on 30 September. For example, if your child is 11 on 30 September, the child will be in the Under 12s.
Children must participate in their correct age group every week (including Club Championships) – we are unable to accommodate children in higher or lower age groups to be with friends.
Nippers timing and calendar
Most nipper days will take place on a Sunday morning from 9am, however we also have some twilight sessions to make the most of long summer afternoons and special events such as our Christmas nippers (Santa comes to visit!) and end of year presentation day.
For all of the details about each week please regularly check out our Nipper Calendar!
Timing for each session is as follows:
All age groups Arrive 15 minutes prior to start for assembly and briefing
U/6 – U/10 groups Approximately 1 hour of nipper activities
U/11 – U/13 groups Approximately 1.5 hours of nipper activities
Key Dates 2023/24
Sun 17 Sep
Cadets Jamberoo Trip
Sat 23 Sep
Start of Patrol Season
Sun 24 Sep
Sun 24 Sep Nipper Registration and Start of Season BBQ Registrations at club 10:00am-12:00pm
Registrations at club 10:00am-12:00pm
Mon 25 Sep
School holidays start
Fri 6 Oct
School holidays end
Sun 15 Oct
Age Manager Briefing 10:30-12:00
Nipper Proficiencies 1-3pm – Aquatic centre
Thu 19 Oct
Parents Start of Season Event
6-9pm Briefing, drinks & canapes
Sun 22 Oct
Start of Nippers
8:00am uniform shop open 8am 9:00am Welcome to Country 10:00 Nippers
Sun 29 Oct
Twilight Nippers – Halloween Party
3:30pm Nippers, 5:00pm BBQ and Party
Under the supervision of their Age Managers the children participate in a range of sand and water based activities, all of which are designed to improve their safety, skills and confidence at the beach. Activities will vary depending on age and competency, but will include things like:
Wading in the shorebreak
Fun activities aimed at improving confidence at the beach, including:
Bucket filling races
Board paddling, in the 50 metre ocean pool or surf
Swimming, in the 50 metre ocean pool or surf
What to bring
Each week you and your child/ren should bring:
- Nipper uniform
- Water bottle
- Wetsuit (optional, but encouraged during colder weeks – not permitted for Club Championships).
Nipper swimming proficiency requirements
All children participating in Nippers are required to take a water proficiency evaluation. This consists of a number of supervised tasks which vary by age group in still water. Children who cannot pass the proficiency are limited to beach and wade events only, for their safety. Children who wish to compete at carnivals must also pass a supervised surf swim over a swim course distance (varies by age group).
See the link below for details on proficiency requirements for each age group.
Dates and times for this season’s proficiencies can be found in the Nipper Calendar.
All nippers must wear a uniform to assist in easy identification for their age managers – minimum requirements are:
- A coloured cap – different colour for each age group
- A Bilgola Nippers rash vest
Other uniform items available are as follows, although children are welcome to wear / bring their own personal gear:
Nipper uniforms need to be ordered online and can be picked up at the Club prior to each Nippers day.
No one knows your children like you do, so it is very important for them that you are involved to help them build confidence. You should therefore be willing each week to actively participate. Be dressed for the beach and be prepared to get wet with your child.
All of our Age Managers are parents and volunteers. We do not offer a child minding service, but with this in mind we realise that some parents have more than one child in different age groups. If this is the case and you elect to stay with one of your kids in a group, then you need to nominate another responsible adult for your other child’s sign-on and sign-off.
Environment and culture
At Bilgola nippers we have a strong pride in our local environment and encourage a sense of belonging at our beautiful beach. We include environmental and cultural activities in our nippers program, such as:
A welcome to country at the start of each season
Interactive environmental awareness activities
Rock shelf tours
Clean Up Australia Day activities
As a volunteer organisation, we are always looking for people to help out! There are opportunities for all interests and skill levels, including:
Nipper Age Manager
Nipper Age Manager’s Assistant
Nipper beach setup each week
Uniform Shop Assistant
Nipper BBQ help each week
Junior Committee membership
Surf Life Saving beach patrol
Helping out will support our club and your children as they learn about surf fun and safety. Bilgola SLSC provides all necessary training.
If you are interested in helping out in any capacity, contact us!
Active Kids Vouchers
Through the NSW Government Active Kids program, you can apply for a voucher to use for sport and fitness costs. Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club is an approved activity provider, so you can use a voucher for your child’s Nippers membership registration.
Contact Bilgola Nippers
If you have ideas, questions or feedback for our Nippers program, please contact the relevant committee member: