Nippers are aged 7-13 years old. The aim of the club is to promote sea and beach safety as well as an active and fit lifestyle. We teach the children lifesaving skills, including basic first aid, as well as surf skills and water confidence. We have a range of ability at our club and welcome all children. There is no requirement that Nippers swim a certain distance for them to be able to join. We have children across a huge range from those who cannot swim at all when they join, right up to county level swimmers.
All sessions are run by experienced and qualified coaches, all of whom are CRB checked.
Summer activities take place from our clubhouse at Hayle beach (just along from the Bluff Inn, near the Cove Cafe). Skills that the children will learn include sea confidence, swimming in the sea, nipper board skills, wading and beach games. In addition, the children learn about waves, dangers of the beach and first aid. The focus is on confidence in the sea as well as discovering the fun of the surf and the beach environment.
Through the sessions, the children will gain awards in Surf Safety and also have the option to compete at local and national level, if they want to. Please come along to our sessions at Hayle beach (our building is just along from the Bluff Inn) to see our facilities and try us out. The summer sessions run May – October on Sunday mornings from 10am to 12pm (please turn up around 9.45am so we have a chance to show you around and introduce you to the club activities before the session starts at 10am).
During our beach sessions, the children are split into smaller groups for teaching purposes, each group typically consisting of around 20-25 children. Within each group, there is a 1:6 ratio of adults to children. The younger age groups generally have a 1:3 ratio of adults to children. We encourage all parents to help out if they can, and you are most welcome to don a wetsuit and join in! Parents of 7 and 8 year olds are required to stick around during the session (whether in the water or not), in case the children get cold and need to leave the water early: we need all of those running the session to remain in the water with their group, and do not allow the children to walk around the beach on their own.
Children will need their own wetsuits eventually, but we have a few that can be borrowed when they are first attending. For those who choose to join the club, discounts are available in a number of local shops and second-hand wetsuits are available for purchase at the club. You can also sell on your old wetsuit at the club. All children attending beach sessions will also need a club hat, which costs £8. The main purpose of this hat is safety – so we can pick out the nippers on a very crowded beach. Children will be provided with a coloured vest to wear over the top of their wetsuit, so that we can identify which group they belong to.
Our winter sessions are at Penzance Leisure Centre Pool on Saturday evenings. We have two sessions and for new children we recommend the earlier session of 5.30pm-7.00pm. If we need to move them into the later session, due to their ability, we would usually know this within a week or two.
The activities of each group vary according to ability – for non-swimmers it is important to teach them how to swim, whereas the top swimmers we have concentrate on rescue techniques. We try to keep our sessions different from swimming club for all abilities, so there are board paddling skills, etc for every-one.
For those who can swim 50 metres, there are opportunities to compete locally and nationally. The club currently pays all associated entry fees.
In terms of equipment needed, children should bring their usual swimming suits. Goggles are also recommended. Flippers are available for use from the club, but children with their own flippers can ensure a good fit! Children wishing to compete will also need a club swimming hat, which costs £5.
The fees for Nippers are £25 per year, which covers affiliation to the Club, the Cornish region and also the National Surf Life Saving Association, as well as relevant personal and third party insurance. Family membership (2 adults and 2 children) is £120. All new members have three weeks grace period, whilst you decide whether you wish to join. The membership year runs from January to December. In addition, the children also pay £1.50 per week, which covers the costs of awards that they take and any competition fees that may be incurred.
Before turning up to try any of our sessions, it is advisable to check the website, to ensure that our session is running as normal, and that we are not away at a competition.
Hope to see you soon.
Traci, Emma, Gerard, James, Tim, Gaynor, Rachel and Graham. Nipper Coaches