Bush Nippers Education Program is a regional and rural inland adaptation to “Beach” Nippers, which aims to build lifesaving and water safety knowledge and skills of children aged 5 to 14 years in open water environments.
The Bush Nipper pilot education program is funded through the Victorian Government which forms part of the Public Water Safety Initiative.
Bush Nippers Year 2 Report
Year 2 (2019/20) of the initiative include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the new Bush Nippers program which was piloted in inland regions across Victoria. All participants and parent/ guardians took take part in the evaluation including pre and post surveys and skills testing (embedded in program). Download – Year 2 Report
Bush Nippers Year 1 Report
In Year 1 of the initiative (2018/19), the current Nipper Education Program was reviewed to determine its effectiveness, and scope feasibility for wider application to Victorian inland and pool settings. Download – Year 1 Report
Is there a cost to participate in the Regional Nipper Pilot Program?
This pilot program is free for the summer of 2020 (Echuca, Wodonga and Shepparton). Life Saving Victoria has been funded by the Department of Education and Training through the Public Water Safety Initiative to develop and pilot a “Bush” Nipper program, testing the feasibility of its delivery in regional areas. Working with local Councils and community groups, the program has been developed and will be provided for free to eligible participants across the January school holidays.
What are the requirements for participation?
All children and young people that wish to be part of the Nippers Program must
Be aged 5 – 14 years of age by midnight on September 30th, 2019;
Complete a Junior Activities Preliminary Evaluation prior to commencing Nipper activities in the water;
Commit to all program sessions to ensure validity of the evaluation;
Have a parent/ guardian present for the entire program; and
Parents and nippers must be willing to participate in an evaluate on the success of the program and skills learnt
Why should my child/ren participate in the program?
This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of Life Saving Victoria’s Pilot Program, bringing Nippers to regional inland water ways and regional pools this summer.
The program is structured specifically to their ages (5-14) and abilities, and gradually teaches the nippers basic lifesaving skills required to be safer in and around an aquatic environment.
Is this a learn to swim program?
Nippers is a lifesaving and water safety program. Although your child will benefit enormously and increase their confidence from exposure to open water-based activities including swimming and board paddling, this is not a learn to swim program. Options to enrol into swimming lessons exist with your local aquatic facility through either holiday intensives or weekly lessons.
What will my child/ren be doing in the program?
Nippers is an iconic program for many Victorians which teaches lifesaving skills whilst extending swimming and water safety competencies.
It progressively teaches children basic water safety and lifesaving skills required to be safe around an aquatic environment, whilst encouraging teamwork and developing their skills to become future community lifesavers.
Your child/ren will participate in both land-based and water based-activities depending on the schedule, age group and conditions each day.
Activities will include;
Introduction to Lifesaving
Understanding your aquatic environment
Play it Safe by the Water
Understanding other aquatic environments
Staying fit and healthy
Personal safety network
Becoming a community lifesaver
Entering and existing the water
Rescues out of water
Run-swim-run (U8 and above)
Board races and relays (U9 and above)
Ironman/woman (U11 and above)
Search patterns (U12 and above)
Recues in water (U12 and above)
What should my child bring?
Any medication requirements (parent/ guardian to have with them)
Bathers, lightweight long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses, warm clothing and spare towel (in case of cool weather), SPF 30+ sunscreen, wetsuit (optional), drink bottle, wide brimmed hat, enclosed shoes (recommended).
Nippers will be provided with a rash top to wear during the program and a lifesaving cap.
What should my child bring?
As this is a funded program, we are required to complete an evaluation of the effectiveness of the new “Bush” Nippers program in inland regions. All participants and a parent/ guardian will be required to attend every session. If you’re child/ children miss a session due to illness/ injury they may still participate in following lessons however may not be able to be included in the program evaluation. Please let your Nipper Coordinator (details will be provided ahead of the first session) know if you are unwell / unable to attend any session.
Will my child be swimming in open water environments?
Echuca and Wodonga programs have planned open water activities. This will depend on;
conditions on the day
participant age and ability
qualification and number of supervising staff
Safety of participants and staff of the program is paramount and risk assessments will be conducted regularly throughout the sessions to determine what activities will be conducted, when and by who.
I have my Bronze Award; can I help deliver the program?
Programs will be delivered by the aquatic facility staff in each location that have undergone training in the content and risk management procedures of the program. Whilst it will be fantastic to have an extra set of eyes on the program and encourage assistance in other ways, we do request that you leave the program delivery and in water activities up to the trained staff.
If you are an employee or would like to become an employee of the relevant aquatic facilities, please contact your local facility directly.
How can I help/ volunteer on the program?
Life Saving Victoria encourages parents to actively contribute to the running of the program. If you would like to assist, please provide your Working with Children Check (Volunteer) details (on the enrolment form) which must also be with you on the day.
Tasks may include; cooking the BBQ, setting-up / packing-up the program, moving flags and other equipment between activities.
If you do not have a Working with Children Check or are unable/unwilling to assist on the day you are still required to supervise your child throughout the program.
Where to I find the Participant Swimming Ability Evaluations requirements?
Participant Swimming Ability Evaluations
Participant Swimming Ability Evaluations are in place to ensure that participants are able to swim and float to ensure their safety when participating in programming in an open water environment or pool.
Participant swimming ability evaluations requirements for each age group are as follows.
How does my child/ren complete a Junior Activities Preliminary Evaluation?
Your child may already have received a certificate from their swimming lessons stating the competencies met (as per criteria above). Alternatively, you may contact your local aquatic facility and request an assessment – please take the above criteria for their reference.
Why must my child meet the necessary criteria?
Participant swimming ability evaluations are in place to ensure that participants are able to swim and float to ensure their safety when participating in programming in an open water environment or pool.
By registering your child/ren into the program you are agreeing that they meet the standard required for the Age Group.
Will food be provided?
A BBQ will be provided at the last session of each program where certificates will be presented. This will also be an opportunity to complete the post-program survey.
How do I cancel my child/ren’s registration?
To cancel your registration please follow the prompts through the Try booking registration page to return your enrolment or fill out the contact us page on the LSV Bush Nipper webpage.
Can I enrol for 2021?
The “Bush” Nippers program is currently a Pilot Program that will be evaluated over the months following delivery. You will be contacted through your registration details if and when the program is available in 2021.