Nippers wrap up!

By April 24, 2023 April 10th, 2024 No Comments

By Tim De Young, Nippers coordinator – Junior Association Director

From 28th December 2022 to 5th January 2023, we were thrilled to have over 170 children participate in the Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club Nippers program.

Unlike the past three summers, we were able to run a largely “normal” program with beautiful weather on all days. From all reports, the children had a blast on the beach, with the parents and guardians also enjoying a return to pre-Covid social activities in the clubhouse on several nights.

There were certainly many highlights throughout the program, my favourites included:

  • The third session (Saturday 31st December) – We peaked with approximately 170 nippers and 50 water safety (including 40 recent SRC graduates) running absolutely amok on the beach in near perfect weather conditions. It also happened to be the day that we had a surprise visit from Life Saving Victoria who gave us glowing praise and was particularly amazed by the level of technical support given to the nippers by water safety, lifeguards and parents and guardians.
  • The mock rescue on the final day – It may not have had the ‘theatrics’ that I envisaged in my head when it was planned but I am sure glad that I was rescued. (Joe’s kiss of life was also a special memory).
  • The Carnival night – $10,268 raised! Carnival night gets bigger and better every year, we again thank Jamie and the Apollo Bay Summer Carnival for their wonderful support of the Club and the Nippers program.
  • The Door Knock – $11,630 raised! Thanks to all the participating parents and nippers, the contributing community as well as the committee for organising this fun community fundraiser. Went brilliantly well thanks to the great effort of all involved.

As I said in the final session, there are so many people that need to be thanked for making the summer program so enjoyable. In no order of priority, I thank them again as follows:

  • To the Nippers – Thanks for bringing your infectious energy and happiness to each session.
  • To the parents and guardians – Thanks for bringing your nipper(s) to the beach every day ready to go, for being there on the beach throughout the sessions to help as required (and for your understanding when things went slightly astray) and for helping out in the countless volunteer roles. The BBQ and Merchandise volunteers in particular deserve a special thanks!
  • To the water safety (including the graduating SRC class) plus Johnny & James – Thanks for your support every day in making the program possible. (For those that don’t know, the program simply can’t run without the right ratio of water safety personnel). I also owe a massive special thank you to Johnny and James who arrived each day at 6:30-7:00am to help set-up the beach and water course.
  • To the lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers (particularly Calden, Joe, Skye, Aidan, Tom, Frank & Harry) – Thanks for all your help in setting up the beach each day, volunteering to lead numerous classes during the sessions, and for organising the final day “rescue simulation”.
  • To the numerous Club committee and other members who assisted me throughout the program – Thanks for all your support this year. I was really overwhelmed with your generosity and your willingness to stay and help long after I had departed the beach. I give a special thanks to Colleen, Ken & Helen (+ Dennis), Freya, Darren, Evelyn, Sue, Tina, Lisa, and Mike.
  • To my wonderful age managers – Thank you so much for volunteering so much of your time to help in this role. Like water safety, we simply can’t run the program without you. However, I personally need to thank you as you make my job so easy as I know I have so many capable, energetic, and engaging people managing and leading the kids on the beach. There is again a long list of persons to thank so here goes… Thanks to Mark, Kirsty, Meghan and Hugo in U8s; Lily and Mathilde in U9s; Tina, Kent, Mia, and Paul in U10s; Caroline, Madeline, Kristi, and Claire in U11s; Brett, Jo, Andrew, and Craig in U12s; and Dan, Tielle, Shelly and David in U13s. I give Dan a special thanks as I think he’s run the same group for six straight years and has now officially earned his retirement!

And finally, after a rewarding 2 years I will be stepping down from the role of Nippers coordinator and handing over to a new coordinator, once appointed. I’ll continue however to see you all on the beach during nippers 2023/24. For those who are interested in returning again to help with the program or those looking to assist for the first time this year, I encourage you to contact me at or the Club at Nippers is a very rewarding program and a great way to meet a fantastic community in Apollo Bay.

Kind regards,
Tim De Young

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