Welcome to Nippers 2013-14!
This season we’ll again be commencing with “Preliminary Skills Assessment” sessions at Belfast Aquatics (the Port Fairy Pool) on Sunday the 24th of November and Sunday the 1st of December. The assessment is a Life Saving Victoria mandatory requirement for all Age Groups above Under 7’s and will enable us to clarify what assistance we need to provide during our sessions at the beach. We’d like as many Nippers as possible to attend one of these two sessions; however it’s also possible to be assessed at the pool out of these session times by arrangement with the pool lifeguards.
The Nippers sessions at East Beach will commence on 8th of December and run through until the 2nd of March so that we will be ready for the Victorian Junior Championships which will be held in Warrnambool the following week. Having the championships in the local area is a great opportunity and, although it’s also “Folkie” weekend, we’ll be looking for a strong contingent of PF nippers to attend. As per usual we’ll be running extra “Summer Sessions” in the first 2 weeks of January. Please see page 3 of this document for the full calendar of events.
Each session is divided by age groups into:
Junior: 6 - 8 years of age
Middle: 9 - 10 years of age
Senior: 11 – 13 years of age
A child’s age is calculated as at the 30th September – therefore a child turning 14 in October can still participate as an Under 14 for that Nippers season. An age group manager will take charge of each group.
This season we’re looking for assistance for both Age Managers on the beach, who assist with taking charge of each group, and water safety personnel (WSP) who assist in the water. It is now a Life Saving Victoria requirement that all WSP be appropriately qualified and as such the club will provide training to any interested parents/relatives/helpers so that we can fulfill the requirement of 1 WSP to every 5 Nippers. As always we welcome assistance from any parents willing to get into the water however we do also encourage you to pursue training through the club so that not only can we meet our water safety requirements but also so that you can obtain a new and potentially life saving skill. This season we’ll also be providing different coloured fluoro rashies and swim caps to identify qualified WSP and non-qualified helpers. Anyone who is interested in training to be WSP or being an Age Manager should contact me directly – I hope to run an Age Managers course prior to the commencement of the season. Please note that if we’re unable to meet the required WSP ratios we’ll have to ration the number of Nippers that can be in the water at any given time.
Under LSV regulations all Nippers involved in water based activities must wear a fluoro rashie, so this year we’ll be selling pink Port Fairy branded long sleeve rashies. The fluoro colour makes it easy to identify our Nippers and as fluoro pink is a mandatory requirement for all Nippers competing at carnivals it makes sense for it to be used as our normal rashie as well. We’ll also be selling swim caps in our club colours so that each Nipper will now be responsible for their own rashie and cap. The pink rashies can be worn over wetsuits on colder days and the long sleeves will fulfil the LSV requirement for sun protection of shoulders and arms on the hot days. The club will subsidise these purchases as much as possible and will advise you of the costs soon. The popular PFSLSC hoodies, t-shirts and caps will again be available for sale this season.
As well as the Victorian Junior Championships in March we also have a local carnival in Warrnambool on Sunday 19th of January - which will be our only Nippers session for that weekend – and also the Western Region Championships in Apollo Bay on Wednesday 8th of January. Last season many of our Nippers really enjoyed competing in these carnivals and this season we’d like to encourage all Nippers to consider participating, particularly in the Vic Champs at Warrnambool. Prior to competing, each Nipper needs to complete a ‘Competition Skills Evaluation’ swim which the club will arrange as required. The distance required to swim varies for each age group as per the table below:
Under 7 Nil
Under 8 Nil - only wading during comps
Under 9 & 10 Minimum 150 metres open water swim
Under 11, 12, 13,14 Minimum 288 metres open water swim
Learning to use the Nipper boards is a popular part of each Nippers session; however this service depends on the boards being looked after. Please always ensure that the boards are carried rather than dragged along the ground, and that the boards are washed down after use.
Nippers sessions are not only lots of fun but also a great introduction to the skills required for a surf life saving or bronze medallion certificate, as listed below:
- Board Paddling
- Beach Running and Relays
- Board Rescue
- Beach Flags
- Identification of beach hazards
- Basic resuscitation
- Tube Rescue
- Sun safety
- Diving under Waves
- General fitness and dietary considerations