What Is Starfish Nippers?
Starfish Nippers is a modified and structured nippers program designed for children and young adults with special needs aged from 6 years and older. It runs alongside a Club’s Summer Holiday Nippers Program and focuses on beach and water safety and awareness and promotes inclusion and diversity. It features modified Nippers beach and water activities such as games, running, beach flags, wading, swimming and boards as well as activities with the club’s Age Group Nippers. The program is run entirely by volunteers.
“We believe every young person deserves to have access to the SLSA Nippers program. The Starfish program allows all young people to be part of a nippers program where they can learn critical beach skills while having fun and learning important life skills such as teamwork.
Started in 2011 by volunteers at the Anglesea SLSC, the Starfish Nippers program successfully operates alongside our Club’s popular summer holiday Nippers Program. This innovative and important program has now been taken up by around 20 clubs across Australia.”
HOW TO JOIN
The program is capped at 10 participants. Direct enquiries to the Starfish Nipper Co-ordinator.
What Are The Benefits?
Starfish Nippers session dates are aligned with the 2021-2022 Summer Holiday Program – session dates. These dates may be subject to change due to COVID-19.
To submit your memberships, go to Signing Up for 2021/2022.
Click to submit Starfish Nipper Registration
You MUST submit a registration form for any nipper who wishes to participate in the Starfish Nipper Program.
If you do not have a Google account, you will need to create one to allow file uploads in the form, Click on the form link below then click the "create account" button – after you create your account you will be able to access the form.
Who Is It For?
The program is designed for young people aged 6 years and above with a disability, including physical and intellectual disabilities and learning difficulties, and can be modified to suit an individual participant’s needs so everyone can be included.
Run entirely by volunteers, the program ensures that children with disabilities and their parents can be involved with surf skills and lifesaving like their siblings, friends and others on the beach.
Starfish Nippers love being involved and included in the Club and the overall Nippers program. They feel a real sense of belonging and wear their Nippers gear with great pride. In many cases, Starfish have been spectators up until now, watching their siblings participate in the Age Group Nippers Program. They are learning life skills from excellent role models (their trainers/mentors), increasing their beach and water safety knowledge and improving their swimming and board skills, while developing their fitness and improving their coordination. Their confidence and skills in the water will improve with every session. They love the social side of the program too and develop confidence socially – they love encouraging each other and having fun together, interacting with their peers and Age Group Nippers and participating actively in the community.
Parents value highly that all children in the family can participate in the Club’s Nippers Program. Networking with other families who are raising a child with a disability is invaluable, and provides great support to each other with the challenges they face.
Our trainers/mentors find the experience valuable and rewarding. Not only do the youth in our Club develop more understanding and skills in working with people with special needs, they also develop leadership skills and a feeling of a great sense of making a worthwhile contribution.
Nippers who participate in the Summer Nippers Program will learn the importance of inclusion and how to connect with people with a disability. They become role models and learn skills in leadership. It is a valuable and rewarding experience for all involved.
Our Club hopes to be able to continue to keep junior members engaged, and also to benefit from increased support from the wider community in the form of financial donations to help run the program.