Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club are giving notice that the Nipper season 2020/2021 has been cancelled.  This decision is the result of careful and balanced consideration of many factors. The club will continue to focus on the safe delivery of essential services (Lifesaving and Patrols) over the summer period.

As we head towards the 2020/2021 season, many challenges are facing the Club this Summer and the Apollo Bay community with Covid-19 being prevalent in the state of Victoria.  As the delegate for Apollo Bay SLSC at Life Saving Victoria Membership Leadership and Development (MLD) meetings, I have been informed of the challenges and significant changes that will confront any Nippers program if the State Government restriction would allow a program to be facilitated this Summer.

LSV has formulated options for clubs to run nippers under very strict and accountable codes of practice if a season should take place. Restrictions would include no sharing of equipment, social spacing, limited nipper group sizes and restriction to parent attendance.  Nipper programs would need to be run for max 60-90min per session and meet restrictions on group sizes, programs would need to be am and pm potentially, daily to distribute the groups and restricting any crowding.  Restrictions on entering the club, change rooms, toilets, COVID cleaning after every session, contact tracing, COVID-Safe education to all Age Coordinators, COVID-Safe Managers / Safety Officers on the beach – and the list continues.  After presenting this information to the Executive Committee, a decision was made on what are  the major goals were for the club this season.  These are noted below:

1. Safety of Apollo Bay SLSC Members and the Apollo Bay community.
2. Facilitate essential services of water and beach safety (patrols), likely in a restricted patrol group size. 

In past years the Nippers program overlaps with SLSC certificate training, bronze camp, weekend patrols and lifeguard services along with general club activities.  To restrict the numbers of members attending the clubhouse this season and to promote the safety of Apollo Bay SLSC members performing essential activity of patrols (lifeguard and patrols) the Nipper season has been cancelled for 2020/2021. 

Yours in good health.

Travis Minns Apollo Bay SLSC Nipper Coordinator | LSV MLD Delegate
Nic Lister Apollo Bay SLSC Nipper Coordinator
Apollo Bay SLSC Executive Committee

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