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Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club
Vigilance & Service






“Training our Future Lifesavers”







Welcome to the 2016/2017 season of Junior Activities (Nippers).  Hopefully the following information will answer most of your questions.  If you have any other queries or suggestions please speak to your child’s Age Manager or contact Natalie Skelly, Board of Youth Activities Coordinator 0412 918 901 or Kate Maddison, Junior Secretary     0400 204 450.



Tea Gardens / Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club is part of the Hunter Branch which includes (13) Clubs. Tea Gardens / Hawks Nest is the northern-most Club with Catherine Hill Bay the southern-most.  We are affiliated with Surf Life Saving Australia.   Our Club is run by a voluntary committee with the juniors represented on the committee by the Junior Activities Coordinator.


Junior Activities Coordinator & Water Safety Officer                        -           Natalie Skelly

Junior Secretary                                                                                        -           Kate Maddison

Club President                                                                                           -           Stephen Howell

Club Secretary & Member Protection Officer                                      -           Maxine Cook



All sections of the “Application for Membership” form are to be completed paying particular attention to the personal details section recording email & mobile phone details.  These forms MUST be signed and if application is for an Under 18 then a parent / guardian must also sign where indicated.  If renewing registration, members must check all details on the renewal form and make any changes or additions necessary.



·         Unregistered members are not covered by insurance and therefore cannot participate.

·         Registration from the previous season expires at midnight 30th November.

·         Members transferring from other Clubs MUST complete the clearance/transfer procedure prior to completing a membership form and participating in any activities.  The member is responsible for informing their Club to initiate their clearance/transfer and they cannot be registered until the clearance/transfer is finalised.  All clearance/transfers are processed via Surfguard.


Registration forms are available for download at www.teagardenshawksnestslsc.com,  email tghnslsc@gmail.com or contact the Club Secretary, Maxine on 0421687311.



Our Age Managers are all club members and are mostly caring sharing nipper parents.  If you are interested in preforming this valuable roll please contact a committee member.



We have a hard working Committee comprised of parents who have volunteered their time to help out and make each season a success.  Perhaps YOU can help too? 


The more helpers we have, the more efficiently Nippers can run and the more beneficial it will be for the children.  There are a variety of ways in which you can help.


·         Be early to help set up the beach activities

·         Cooking & serving of the BBQ

·         Age Manager – Bronze or Surf Rescue Certificate not needed

·         Helping Age Group Managers run weekly activities

·         Encouraging ALL children in a positive manner

·         Ensuring children SLIP – SLOP – SLAP

·         Ensuring children wash and return all equipment to the Gear Shed after the day’s activities have finished

·         Helping with starting and finishing of beach activities

·         Marking names off the attendance sheets

·         Become a Beach Official – You can assist both at Carnivals and weekly activities. 

·         At carnivals we must provide (1) official for every (7) competitors.  If interested, let Natalie know.


REMEMBER:  We are all parents and all volunteers.  Please offer your assistance in whatever way you

can.  I guarantee it will be much appreciated.  Children tend to take much delight in seeing either

Mum or Dad involved in activities in which they are involved in.



Nippers run every Sunday during school terms from October to March.  All Nippers should report to their respective age managers on the grassed area in front of the clubhouse by 8.45am.  Nipper’s events will commence at 9.00am sharp.   No race will be re-run or held up for any age group because of a late starter.   The morning’s activities should be completed by 10.30am. Twilight Nippers held throughout the season, commences at 3.00pm on a Saturday afternoon. There is a Junior Activities timetable for this season inserted into this booklet. This gives you an idea of when Nippers are on, if there are activities or a BBQ at its conclusion and when carnivals are scheduled.  We will also use SMS and emails as a regular form of communication, therefore if your contact details change during the season please notify  Maxine 0421 687 311 ASAP to ensure you’re kept up-to-date.



A member’s age as at midnight on 30th September determines the age group to which he/she belongs.  For example, John turned 9 on the 28th August this year – John is therefore registered as an Under 10.  Emma turned 9 on the 2nd October this year – Emma is therefore registered as an Under 9.  Listed below are the age groups children will be in for the 2015/2016 season. If they are born between the following dates the age for the season is determined as at midnight on the 30th September at the commencement of that season


1st October 2001 to 30th September 2002

Under  15

1st October 2002 to 30th September 2003

Under  14

1st October 2003 to 30th September 2004

Under  13

1st October 2004 to 30th September 2005

Under  12

1st October 2005 to 30th September 2006

Under  11

1st October 2006 to 30th September 2007

Under  10

1st October 2007 to 30th September 2008

Under   9

1st October 2008 to  30th  September 2009

Under   8

1st October 2009 to 30th September 2010

Under   7

1st October 2010 to 30th September 2011 Under   6




Waivers must be completed for any child participating in “Come & Try” days or just participating to ascertain whether they would be interested in joining.  This form is valid only for the duration of that specific activity (one day).  The completed forms must be retained by the Club for insurance purposes.




A child may join the club only when they have turned 5 (this is due to insurance issues).  U/6 & U/7’s participate in Sunday morning activities on an Educational Basis Only and are not required to complete

a proficiency swim prior to participating.   U/6 and  U/7’s will not be competing in any swim or board events, however we have arranged other non-competitive activities and fun games to keep them entertained on the beach.  Water activities are limited to shallow water near the water’s edge. Children in these age groups do not compete in any point score / championship events but will all still receive a ‘participation’ trophy/medallion at the end of the season.




To provide an enjoyable experience for the children

To teach and develop basic surf safety skills

To provide competition for children at various levels i.e. Club, Branch, State

To build an atmosphere of belonging and Club spirit so that the children will be encouraged to progress through the ranks and become active senior members of the Club.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is not an aim of the Club to teach children to swim.  All children from U/8’s onwards must complete the preliminary evaluation before participating in any water activities.  Swimming lessons are recommended for those who do not meet this proficiency.



For safety and development reasons, ALL Nippers U/8’s and upwards must pass a Swim Proficiency Evaluation before they can participate in any nipper activities.   


The test and levels are as follows:




Competition Evaluation

Surf Education


Under 6

From a standing position in waist deep water perform a front glide and recover to a secure position.  Perform a back or front float holding a buoyant aid and recover to a secure position.

Surf Play 1

Under 7

From a standing position in waist deep water perform a front glide, kick for 3m and recover to a secure position. Perform a back or front float for a few seconds and recover to a secure positon.

Surf Play 2

Under   8

25 meter swim (any stroke)

1 minute survival float

Nil (no water competition, except for wade which takes place in waist deep water)

Surf Aware 1

Under   9

25 meter swim (any stroke)

1 minute float

Minimum 150m open water swim (competition course as per competition manual)

Surf Aware 2

Under 10

25 meter swim (any stroke)

1 ½ minutes survival float

Minimum 150m open water swim (competition course as per competition manual)

Surf Safe 1

Under 11

50 meter swim (freestyle)

2 minute survival float

Minimum 288m open water swim (competition course as per competition manual)

Surf Safe 2

Under 12

100 meter swim (freestyle)

2 minute survival float

Minimum 288m open water swim (competition course as per competition manual)

Surf Smart 1

Under 13

150 meter (freestyle)

3 minute survival float

Minimum 288m open water swim (competition course as per competition manual)

Surf Smart 2

Under 14

200 meter swim

(freestyle, in less than 5 minutes)

3 minute survival float

Minimum 288m open water swim (competition course as per competition manual)

Surf Rescue Certificate


Delegated authority as per the SLSA Circular No. 108/15-16


Every junior member is required to participate in this evaluation, conducted by the club, prior to any junior water activity training or completion being undertaken.  Any child that does not meet the required evaluation level will require a higher level of supervision when involved in water based activities at the discretion of the club

The competition evaluation must be achieved before any members are eligible to compete

Every junior member should achieve the relevant Surf Education Award appropriate to their age group.


PRELIMINARY EVALUATION – Must be completed to participate in Nippers

COMPETITION EVALUATION – Must be completed to participate in any event at a carnival

This preliminary evaluation is a prerequisite for any Nipper to undertake activities.  The Nipper program is structured to involve children in surf activities to develop surf skills which will stay with them for life.  To enable us to do this we require the children to have a level of swim proficiency that will not put them in danger on the beach.

Children in the U/8’s do not participate in any formal swim or board activities and are only required to complete the above swim at the pool.

Before we take all other children (from U/9s and above) into the surf they must undertake a Swim Proficiency /Pool Swim – (Surf Activity Evaluation) which is held at the local pool.  To be eligible to undertake surf activities on regular Nippers days each child must undertake a Swim Proficiency evaluation – which shows us that they are then capable of undertaking the second level of evaluation which is held at the beach – this is called the  Run-Swim-Run.



To enable Nippers to undertake the Competition Evaluation.  If this has not been done they will not be able to participate in surf activities.


It is not necessary for children to wear Club swimmers whilst competing in our own Junior Activities, however ALL children must wear our green and gold nipper cap at all times and fluro pink vest when doing water activities.   This is for safety reasons, in particular during surf swim and board events.  Club Swimmers are required when participating at Carnivals.  Club Nipper Caps are for sale - $15.00ea                     (See Maxine if you don’t have one).



On regular Sundays the Nippers will meet on the grassed area in front of the Clubhouse and sit with their age groups.   Children in the U/6, U/7, U/8 and U/9 age groups will need to be signed in.  This should be no later than 8.50 am.   There are usually some announcements to be made at this time and any newsletters handed out.   This is an important means of communication for both parents and nippers, so please listen up and ask questions if you want to know more.  Children will then be collected by their respective Age Managers and head down to the beach for the morning’s activities to commence at 9.00am – Nippers is usually completed by 10.30am although occasionally the older groups will participate in extra water events eg. board relays, board rescues or organized training etc. that may go a little longer.

NOTE – On completion of Nippers U/6 – U/9s will need to be collected and signed out by their parents.



Whilst child abuse has not been shown to be common in Surf Life Saving, Laws and Policies have been developed in order to protect young people from harm and those working with them from accusation.   Every member and volunteer over the age of (18) is required to have a Working with Children check done.  Please see our Registrar, Kate who can explain this requirement and the procedure of how to obtain one. 


If you have any concerns or suspicions at any time, please don’t hesitate to contact our Member Protection Officer, Maxine 0421 687311.



As part of the requirements of the Surf Education Program all Nippers will complete a ten lesson programme during the first half of the season.  These lessons are made up of both theory and practical lessons and are different for each age group.  The lessons will develop children’s abilities to recognize a safe beach zone or aquatic environment and to enhance their ability to be safe at the beach.


The U6 and U7 will do only theory lessons whilst the older groups will go through more physical lessons with Age Managers running through a different skill each week. We will be sending home a copy of the lesson plan this year for parents to have a look at.   If you have any questions please ask your Age Manager.  To complete the award in full and gain the certificate you must attend at least 75% of

Nippers days on the beach and show an understanding of the skills required in achieving the award.


Under   6 - Surf Play 1                         Under 11 - Surf Safe 2

Under   7 - Surf Play 2                         Under 12 - Surf Smart 1

Under   8 - Surf Aware 1                     Under 13 - Surf Smart 2

Under   9 - Surf Aware 2                     Under 14 - Surf Rescue Certificate

Under 10 - Surf Safe 1            All awards must be completed by 31 December



This season we have nominated the dates on which we are hoping to have a barbeque after Nippers.  We have also planned extra activities on these weeks after the usual Nipper activities.   We will need extra help for these BBQ’s, so if you are available to help please let us know.

There are always jobs and all help is welcome and appreciated.  Thank You!!!!!



Nipper’s is run on a non-competitive basis with the emphasis on Surf Education learnt through fun.   Weekly points will be awarded for attendance and participation in activities.   There are championship days held during the season.   On these occasions points will be awarded for participation, 1st, 2nd and 3rd with boys and girls competing separately.


The Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Club is one of 13 Clubs within the Hunter Branch and at various times during the season we are invited to compete at Branch ‘Carnivals’. All Nippers from U8’s who have completed their proficiency swims are eligible and encouraged to compete.  These carnivals are great fun as the children get to meet and compete with children from other clubs.   This year we hope to have children representing our club at all carnivals but cannot do this without the support of parents.   Please discuss this with your Age Managers who will have information on the Carnivals and the ‘gear’ that has to go with the children (shades, equipment etc).


If your child would like to participate in any of these carnivals you will need to contact Kate Maddison on 0400 204450.  Reminders will be announced at Sunday events or posted on the notice board prior to the event date.   Hunter Branch Carnival dates are indicated on the planner in the back of this publication.

Remember : To be eligible to Compete at any carnival you must be a financial member and have successfully completed your proficiency before the carnival date.



On days that the beach cannot be used due to bad weather or safety (Bluebottles etc) Nippers will  be run for those families who still venture out.   This time is sometimes used for completion of theory lessons in Surf Education and also for indoor games and activities.



The committee has held discussions about how we can cater for all Nippers and their Safety at all times.

The following decisions have been made and will be enforced:

·         Children must be accompanied by a Parent/Guardian on the beach at all times.

·         The Water Safety Officer and Patrol Captain will make a decision each Sunday morning regarding the best available conditions for the planned activity.

·         We will continue to maintain a safe level of supervision at all times adhering to the Surf Lifesaving Australia and Surf Lifesaving NSW guidelines.

·         A calendar of events will be issued separately to take into account information not currently available to us regarding carnivals and other important dates.

·         During Nipper Activities all Nippers must wear their Club Nipper Cap – this is for identification, safety and insurance purposes.

·         It is important that all children SLIP – SLOP – SLAP when coming to the beach each week.

·       A water bottle should also be brought along by each child so they can have a drink whilst taking part in activities.

·       Please label all towels, water bottles and especially clothing and caps which are difficult to identify when not marked. 


Parent’s Code

Do not make an unwilling child participate in a sport

Encourage children to play by the rules

Encourage the effort being as important as the result

Do not yell or abuse a child for making a mistake

Recognise and encourage good play or efforts

Do not publicly question an official’s decision

Recognise the efforts of volunteers and coaches

Coach’s Code

Don’t demand too much of children – they’ve other interests as well

Teach players that rules are for their safety & shouldn’t be broken

Avoid encouraging and rewarding ONLY the talented children

Make sure your facilities are safe & follow doctor’s advice regarding injuries

Do not make young children over practice. Take age and maturity into account when designing programs.

Participant’s Code

Play to enjoy the sport

Follow the rules

Don’t argue with the Officials. The Team Manager can ask the questions

Treat other players as you like to be treated

Listen to your coach, team and mates

Official’s Code

Modify the events and rules to participant’s abilities

Do not overrun the game and it’s enjoyment with over officiating

Praise the players on good sportsmanship, behavior and skill

Encourage the changing of rules to maintain fun and enjoyment

Remain up to date on rules and information in relation to officiating

Spectator’s Code

Children play for fun – not for your entertainment or satisfaction

Never use bad language or yell at the Participants, Officials or Coaches

Do not yell at Participants or Officials over mistakes or criticize their decisions

Manager’s Code

Make sure opportunity for sports participation is available to all children

Ask children’s opinion on planning and evaluation of activities

Ensure that venues and equipment are suitably safe enough to use

Consider children’s age and ability when determining training and competition times and duration

Encourage playing for the fun of it, not for the winning tent Here