Silver Camp 2023 – Candidate Applications Now Open!July 17, 2023
Rock Night: Covered UpAugust 10, 2023
What is Starfish Nippers?
It is a modified and structured Nippers program for all abilities that runs alongside our club’s existing Nippers program and focuses on beach and water safety and awareness, and promotes inclusion and diversity. Starfish Nippers was started in 2011 by volunteers at Anglesea SLSC. There are over 30 surf and bayside lifesaving clubs from across Australia that have signed up to run the program. Portsea SLSC will host this program again this year and we are delighted to welcome you and your family.
Who is the Program Designed For?
It is designed for young people aged 6 years and above with a disability, including physical, psychological and intellectual disabilities and learning difficulties. The program can be easily modified to suit an individual participant’s needs so everyone can be included.
What are the benefits?
Experience and information obtained from other clubs who have run this program indicate that it has had immense benefits for Starfish Nippers Participants and their families, mentors and the club overall. Specifically;
Starfish – We know that they will love being involved and included in the club and the overall Nippers Program. They feel a real sense of belonging and will wear their Nippers gear with great pride. In many cases, Starfish participants would have been spectators up until now, watching their siblings participate in the existing Nippers program. They can learn life skills from excellent role models (their mentors), increasing their beach and water safety knowledge and improving their swimming and board skills, while developing their fitness and improving their coordination. We hope to see their confidence and skills in the water improve with every session. They will love the social side of the program too and will develop confidence socially – they will love encouraging each other and having fun together, interacting with their peers and participating actively in the community.
Parents/Guardians/Families – We hope for the program to be valuable to all parents/guardians/families. We value highly that all children in the family can participate in the club’s Nippers program, and we hope that all parents find networking with other families who are raising a child with a disability invaluable and provide great support to each other with the challenges they face.
Volunteers/Mentors – Volunteers/Mentors find the experience valuable and rewarding. Not only have the youth in our club developed more understanding and skills in working with people with a disability, but they have also developed leadership skills and a sense of making a worthwhile contribution. Each Starfish will be matched with a mentor for the whole duration of the program. An initial get to know you meeting with the family and Nipper assists in matching mentors to their Nipper.
Age Group Nippers – We will run one session where the Star fish Nippers will participate with the age group Nippers in certain activities. Our Age Group Nippers are learning the importance of inclusion and how to connect with people with a disability. They will act as role models and will learn skills in leadership. They find the experience valuable and rewarding.
Club – Our club will be able to display the true meaning of inclusion and will also benefit from increased interaction with the
When and Where?
The Starfish Nippers Program will run alongside the Portsea SLSC United Energy Nippers program and involves the following:
- Location: Point Nepean Quarantine Station (Disability access enabled)
- Dates: 29th December 2023, 31th December 2023, 2rd January 2024, 4th January 2022 and 6th January 2024. (7th January Nipper Competition day TBA).
- Session Times: 9:30am – 11:30am
- Cost: $95 (hardship subsidies are available for eligible applicants). Our primary Nippers sponsor, United Energy, funds club membership for families joining Portsea SLSC exclusively to register a child in Starfish Nippers, for a period of three years.
- Age Requirements: Participants should be over 6 years old.
- 2023-2024 Program Capacity:15 participants
What kind of activities do Starfish Nippers do?
Modified Nippers beach and water activities such as games, running, signals, beach flags, wading, swimming, and boards.
What is the maximum number of participants? Why is it capped?
It is capped at 15. Safety is the biggest factor.
Where will the program be located?
Portsea SLSC will be run the program from quarantine station Portsea. This beach is a safer beach then our patrolled back beach. There is an access ramp to the beach where we will be meeting each session with car parking close by. We will provide further details soon.
Why does a parent/carer need to always stay on the beach close to the group?
This is critically important in the case of a medical or behavioural problems.
What is the ratio of Mentors : Starfish Nippers in the water?
1:1 is the minimum; 2:1 when required.
What qualifications do Mentors have? Who can become a Mentor?
Our mentors are all volunteer club members who are aged 16 and over. Most of them have their Bronze Medallion or at least their SRC and above. They are very reliable and passionate about supporting the program. Experience working with people with a disability is not required. All mentors must complete an induction program and have a current Working with Children (WWC) card.
Why do I need to provide so much information at enrolment? How is the information used?
As part of the enrolment process, parents are asked to include details on any medical, social or communication issues their child has. This is so we can provide the highest level of safety for your child and offer the best possible program suited to their individual needs. It is critically important that you advise us of any changes in your child’s health details as they occur. The information is kept by the Program Coordinator in a folder on the beach during all sessions.
How is the program funded?
The program is run 100% by club volunteers and we currently receive no government funding. Since the decision to implement the program, we have received additional funding through SLSA and generous support from our sponsors and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Who to contact?
Alexandra Madden and Molly Tozer are our program coordinators, please contact them if you have any questions regarding becoming a sponsor, starfish participant or volunteering as a buddy.