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A modified and structured special n eeds Nippers Program The program runs in conjunction with the existing club nippers program. What is Starfish Nippers. Beach safety and water awareness for all abilities. Designed for all abilities.

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What is Starfish Nippers

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What is starfish nippers

A modified and structured special needs Nippers Program

The program runs in conjunction with the existing club nippers program

What is Starfish Nippers

Beach safety and water awareness for all abilities

Designed for all abilities

Designed for all abilities

For children and young adults aged 7 and above with special needs

Access for young people with a diverse range of special needs

All individuals are treated with respect and dignity

Program designed for

Program Designed for.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Aspergers Syndrome

Down Syndrome

Learning difficulties and developmental delay

Intellectual Disabilities

Cerebral palsy

Visual/Auditory/Sensory processing disorders

Physical difficulties

Hearing impairments


Aims objectives

Aims & Objectives

  • Inclusion

  • To run in conjunction with the age group nippers

  • Improve safety skills and awareness on the beach and in the waterfor special needs participants

  • Engaging cadet and junior volunteers

  • Broader engagement

  • Opportunity for non-qualified

    members to be engaged



Fun and Laughter

Beach safety and water awareness

Team work



Inclusion and general goodwill

Social skills

Water awareness

Improves fitness and skills

Parent networking

Sense of worth for trainers

Life/long term member engagement


Program include

Program include.

  • ‘Go starfish’ Chant

  • Starfish nipper song (optional)

  • Warm up run & stretches

  • Flags (modified)

  • Ball games

  • Surf patrol talk

  • Relays with other age groups

  • Wading activity

  • Board skills and catching waves

  • Body surfing

  • Sand activities

  • ‘Good bye Starfish’ chant

Best practice

Best Practice.

Nippers with Special needs learn best by:




Clear simple instructions

Watching demonstrations / being shown

Visual prompts

Hand directions and signals

Firm, direct and friendly instructions with a smile on your face

Observing good role models

Best practice1

Best Practice…

Parent/Guardian must be on the beach at all

times during the program

Staying with the group at all times

Only entering the water with a water safety officer/s

Always swim between the flags/allocated swimming area

Must wear nipper hat/uniform at all times whilst at Nippers

Trainer must accompany all nippers to the toliet

Sunscreen must be worn

Wear a wetsuit -weather permitting

Best practice2

Best Practice…

Ratio 1 trainerto 1 nipper in the water and depending on their individual needs 2 trainers to 1 nipper in the water.

One water safety trainer with Bronze or SRC with each nipper in the water

Water activities including swimming and wading on patrolled beach between flags at all times

Board activities in the board area of the flags



Make sure a family member is on the beach at all times

Aware of the child’s ability, taking into account their swimming ability.

Do not take nippers out beyond their depth if they have limited swimming skills

At the end of the session, everyone helps pack up

What is starfish nippers

Have I got your interest?

Contact Details:

Brian Kirk

Mentone Life Saving Club

MB: 0418 517 811

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