Woodside Nippers

Objectives of the Nipper Program

  • Most importantly, to have fun
  • Improve surf lifesaving skills
  • Learn about the beach environment
  • Develop surf awareness
  • Participate in carnivals
  • Develop team building skills
  • Develop new friendships and a sense of community

Woodside Nippers is Surf Life Saving WA’s junior surf program that introduces children, aged 5 to 12, to surf lifesaving. 

Held on Sunday mornings at Leighton beach, generally from October to March, it is a fun, outdoor activity that grows a child’s confidence; teaches valuable skills and lessons about beach safety; and provides a fun and safe environment to get outside and enjoy the coast.

Woodside Nippers run, swim, laugh, and make new friends. Participation fosters a sense of belonging and the concept of community.  


What to Bring

Nippers should bring these basic requirements (make sure all are labelled with nipper’s name) to all surf club activities.


Sunscreen (should be applied before leaving home and reapplied as necessary)

  • Bathers
  • Hat or cap
  • Rashie
  • Towel
  • Water Bottle
  • A small snack
  • Long sleeve, sun safe shirt
  • Warm clothing (for cold conditions)

Note that none of these items need to be purchased through the club uniform shop or have a FMSLSC logo, except for club bathers which only need to be worn at junior competitions for U10s and up.  However, for ease of convenience the uniform shop does sell club merchandise and U8/U9 surf boards. Opening Times for the Uniform Shop: As advertised in the Nipper News.

Session Details

8.15am – 8.45am Sign-in

8.45am – 10.45am Sunday beach activities

& Sign Out:

  • When you arrive at the beach, go to your age group sign-in area, sign in and collect your age group coloured surf cap and high visibility lycra fluoro-yellow surf vest.
  • Wear your cap and surf vest throughout the session – DO NOT TAKE IT OFF.
  • When you sign out at the end of the session, untie the cord and return your cap and your surf vest to the AGM.

Responsibilities of Parents
  • Ensure your nipper has had breakfast.
  • Label ALL clothing and belongings.
  • Encourage your child throughout the session.
  • Be supportive of the person in charge of your group. All Age Group Managers are volunteers and rely on assistance from parents.
  • To be fair to others, please arrive on time for sessions.
  • Never leave the beach without your child signing out and returning their cap.
  • All nippers must have a parent or guardian present on the beach at all times.
  • Consider what capacity you are able to volunteer and support our club as much as possible.
Parent Volunteering
To keep participation affordable, we need all our families to volunteer at our club as much as possible. So as a parent or guardian of a child who participates in FMSLSC’s Nippers you are required to volunteer in some capacity. Without your help our club cannot operate! Volunteering can take many forms including (but not limited to) Age Group Manager, Competition Official, Water Safety, Beach Set-up, Canteen Manager, Canteen Age Group Co-ordinator, Canteen Assistant and First Aider. Please talk to your Age group manager about what volunteering you can do, as many of these roles have courses to assist you gain the required skills.
Age Group Manager (AGM)

Anybody keen to assist with delivering the surf education program on Sundays is encouraged to speak to the other AGMs. This will lighten the load and provide backup when required (such as when some of the AGMs are away or cannot attend due to carnival commitments) or allow dedicated AGMs (boys) and AGMs (girls) in any given age group at carnivals when competition may be taking place in different water areas.

An AGM course is run early in the summer season, usually in November each year. Check the nipper calendar to confirm planned AGM course date or look out for notice in the club newsletter.

Water Safety

All nipper groups require 1 qualified Surf Rescue certificate (SRC) holder for every 5 nippers for all water activities. Without adequate water safety personnel we cannot run our Sunday nipper sessions. This also applies at junior carnivals! We have many parents who are happy to help out in the water which is appreciated; however we are unable to count you for water safety unless you hold a current SRC. SRCs wear the orange cap and rashie so can be easily identified to all nippers.

The club generally holds an adult SRC Course early in the season. The course is run over a couple of weeks (3rd weekend is assessment) and is a mixture of weekend and evening training. Attendees should be confident to swim 200m swim within 5 minutes and complete a 100m run – 100m swim – 100m run, within 5 minutes.

Please contact an AGM for more information about the SRC course and your interest. Also check out the nipper calendar to confirm planned SRC course date or look out for notice in club newsletter.

Competition Officials

SLSWA has guidelines in regard to competition officials. Each club is required to provide 1 competition official for every 15 competitor at each carnival. We always require more officials from our club to ensure our U10 to U14 age group competitors can compete. Please chat to your AGM if you can help.

Level 1 Officials course are run generally in early December, so check out the nipper calendar to confirm dates and look out for course enrolment advice in club newsletter.

The course is a 4 to 5hr course and run on either an evening or Saturday, at SLSWA head office in Balcatta. Then there is a question component to complete in your own time and a trainee/on-the-job training for 3 carnivals within 12 months, before becoming a level 1 official.

Jewellery and Valuables

Due to safety and potential loss; rings, watches, and necklaces (except Medical Alert bracelets) are not permitted during activities. Please be aware that it is not the responsibility of Age Group Managers (or any other club officials) to look after any of these valuables and hence they will not take any responsibility for loss of these valuables during club/competition activities.

Club activities often result in belongings being left unattended, broken or lost. Any valuables including jewellery, wallets, and mobile phones are certainly best left at home.