2020-21 Portsea Nipper Program – Important Program Information

With current COVID related restrictions in place in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula, we felt that it was important to communicate details on the forthcoming 2020-21 Portsea Nippers Program.

Program Planning Activities

Our planning activities for the 2020-21 Portsea Nippers Program are currently underway and the following principles are guiding its development over the next few months:

  • We will plan for an uninterrupted program to take place, however we are also developing alternative scenario’s should the current (or future) COVID related restrictions remain in place in late December 2020/early January 2021
  • We will look to open registrations in mid to late September in line with the Club’s membership renewal/application process. As in prior years, we will have a priority registration period before opening up registrations to new members
  • We will have a hard cap of 600 program participants – no exceptions. This may need to be reduced on a first come/first served basis should COVID related restrictions on sporting teams/gatherings remain in place
  • Should the program be interrupted (in whole or in part), we intend to apply elements of the 2020-21 Portsea Nippers Program fees as credits to the 2021-22 Portsea Nippers Program registration fees payable or provide cash refunds for Under 13 program participants/those seeking financial hardship protection
  • We are considering the logistics and execution of the program – including assessment of the Portsea Back Beach and Point Nepean Quarantine Station to enable appropriate social distancing (if this is required). These plans may also include staggering start/finish times and/or dates and developing participant only activity zones
  • We are planning to reduce the cost of the program if possible by better leveraging existing resources and rethinking the “Nipper Pack”. Several initiatives have already commenced, including agreement with Life Saving Victoria (LSV) that program participants will not need to wear a pink water safety vest where the red Nipper program “rashie” is worn (one less thing to remember to pack…!)
  • We are reconsidering the logistics of mailing the “Nipper Pack” given delays experienced last year
  • We will continue to align our program with aspects of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals framework where possible

Club Subscriptions

Club subscription notices will be emailed out shortly to all current financial members.  Your subscription notice will contain your member login details. When you login to pay your membership account, please also check that your membership profile is up-to-date for all relevant contact details (including email and mobile numbers). To make sure you receive Club newsletters and important notices, ensure “Yes” is ticked under “Subscriptions” (bottom of the page) which will ensure that you are included on the club’s mailing list.

NB: You will need your login and password to register for the Portsea Nipper Program.  We recommend that you take the time now to login and check your access and details. Waiting until registration opens may delay your registration and jeopardise your child’s ability to register for the 2020-21 Portsea Nipper Program.


Registrations for the 2020-21 Portsea Nipper Program will be advised, but will include:

  • Priority Registration Period for previous participants and their siblings:
  • New Nipper Registrations for first time participants:

To register for the Portsea Nippers Program you must have a current Family Membership.  Only current financial members will be eligible to register.  Prospective new members can do this by visiting the Club’s website at and follow the prompts (click on “Members” tab).  Club Memberships are non-refundable – therefore should you later decide not to participate in the Portsea Nippers Program or are unsuccessful in securing a place in the program, only your Portsea Nipper Program registration fees will be repaid.

Only previous Portsea Nipper Program participants (and their siblings) are eligible to register during the priority period.   This allows us to continue to offer places to those who have previously committed to the program.  Any new participants who attempt to register during the priority period will have their registrations moved to the back of the queue.  Please understand that remaining places typically fill very quickly and while we try to accommodate as many participants as we can, our program numbers are capped in the interests of water safety (and may be capped further as a result of COVID related restrictions).

When registering, it is important that participants are allocated to their correct age group based on their date of birth.  This will be checked to ensure that we meet all LSV insurance, training and accreditation requirements.  No exceptions will be accepted.

Age Groups

Under 7 Age Group – This year again there will be a limited number of places available in the U7 Age Group. To participate in this program your child must be 6 years old as at 30 September 2020. Parents of children participating in the U7 Nippers Program must remain on the beach with their children for the duration of each session (details as a result of any COVID related restrictions to be advised).

All other age groups – Reference to the participant age at 30 September 2020 is relevant.  For example, if your child turns 9 years of age prior to 30 September 2020, they will be in the U10 age group.  Conversely, if a child turns 9 years of age after 30 September 2020, they will be in the U9 age group. Each child must be registered in the correct age group.

The Club reserves its right to exclude any member found to have declared false information.

Key Program Dates

The key dates for the Portsea Nippers Program are as follows:

Want these sessions in your calendar? You can subscribe to a range of Club calendars through our website, including a Portsea Nippers Program calendar.

See Calendars

Many of the events will be COVID restriction dependant (eg: Nipper Disco, Nipper Parents and Friends Cocktail Party).   We will allow for registration for these events at the date of the Portsea Nipper Program registration.  Should the events not proceed, we will store credits/refund monies as appropriate.

Location of Sessions

The Nipper Program sessions will at Portsea Back Beach (U10 to U13) and the Quarantine Station in the pristine Point Nepean National Park (U7 to U9).  Location may be weather dependent and may change at short notice. Full details of sessions (including “Ripper Nipper Days” to be held at the Portsea Back Beach) will be included on the Portsea Nippers Team App during the conduct of the program.

This is subject to change depending on any COVID related requirements (such as social distancing or caps on participant numbers).

Nipper Attire

Your children will not be able to participate in the Nipper Program without the appropriate Portsea Nippers Program attire – please make sure it is worn at all times during the program.

Accreditation Swim

The accreditation swim is a critical and mandatory element of enrolment into the Portsea Nippers Program.  With the current COVID restrictions (including closure of pools) in place, the date for this year’s accreditation swim will need to be advised.  It is likely that this will be after the date registrations open.  There is currently no intention to hold an accreditation swim at the commencement of the Portsea Nippers Program on 27 December 2020 (however like other aspects of the program, this is subject to change).  Our current intention is to have all Portsea Nipper Program participants from U8 upwards accredited before commencement of the program.

NB: U7s do not undertake water based activities, but will need to be proficient in gliding in the water for 3m and floating on their back for 30 seconds.  This will be assessed on Day 1 of the program.

An alternative to the accreditation swim will be for Nippers/Parents/Guardians to provide a duly signed representation from an accredited swim coach that states that the participant can swim competently and continuously the following distances:

  • U8 & U9 – 25 metre swim, 1 min float
  • U10 – 25 metre swim, 1 ½ min float
  • U11 – 50 metre swim, 2 mins float
  • U12 – 100 metre swim, 2 mins float
  • U13 – 150 metre swim, 3 mins float

This information will need to be received by early December 2020.

As with last year, a wrist band will be provided to denote completion of the accreditation swim/accredited swim coach representation.  This will need to be worn at all Portsea Nipper Program sessions.  Remember, no accreditation swim/accredited swim coach representation…no wristband…no participation in water based activities…no exceptions.

U13 Boot Camp

The 2020-21 Portsea Nipper program will contain an optional residential/overnight “Boot Camp” which will be made available to the first 50 U13 only participants to register (as part of the registration process).  Should COVID related restrictions stop us from undertaking a residential camp, the “Boot Camp” will continue in an abridged form from 10:30AM on 5 January 2021 and will conclude at 8 pm that night.  The “Boot Camp” will involve incremental surf lifesaving based training (such as basic first aid and CPR) as well as high energy (and fun) strength and fitness training and group activities.  If allowed, participants will stay overnight at the Portsea SLSC.

This camp is numbers dependant and further details will be provided closer to the event.  The feedback we had last year from this externally facilitated session was extremely positive and it is expected that places will go fast.


All participants will be required to access Team App to keep up to date on any relevant information during the conduct of the program.  Instructions on how to access Team App will be provided in the Nipper Pack.

Junior Competition Team

The Portsea Junior Competition Team represents the club and competes in water and beach events against other lifesaving clubs at various carnivals over summer (culminating in the Victorian State Titles to be held over the Labour Day long weekend in March 2021).  Training sessions are offered in Melbourne and at Portsea, with the focus on developing skills and having fun.  If you are interested, or would like more information, please tick the relevant box as part of the registration process and you will be emailed further details in due course.

Most Importantly…Parental/Guardian Involvement

The successful running of the Portsea Nippers Program relies heavily on both volunteer and parental involvement.  For information about getting involved in the Portsea Nipper Program, please tick the relevant box as part of the registration process and we will be in contact.  There is no better way to spend time with your kids during summer!  Should COVID related restrictions remain in force (such as smaller group sizes), we will need more (not less) parents involved – so please consider how you may help out.  They are your kids.

NB: Recent changes to Child Protection Laws now require the PSLSC to require all Nipper parent, guardians and siblings 18 year old and over to have a Working With Children Check (WWCC).  For further details on how to apply for a WWCC, please see the following link:

Please ensure that you provide your WWCC number on the Portsea Nipper Program registration form at time of enrolment.


A dedicated group of volunteers are working tirelessly to get the 2020-21 Portsea Nippers Program up and running – so please ensure that you respect their commitment and effort by understanding the fluid nature of the program.  Should you have any queries in relation to the above information, please do not hesitate to contact

We look forward (hopefully) to seeing you on the beach in summer.