Proficiency Requirements

As many of the activities that children participate in as part of nippers are conducted in open water, Surf Life Saving Australia has a minimum standard for junior skills evaluation (proficiency) and education for all children taking part in nippers.  Wanda Nippers has adapted these, see the table below for details or click here to view our Junior Skills Evaluation and Education policy>>

Age Group Preliminary Evaluation Competition Evaluation*
U6
From a standing position in waist deep water, perform a front glide and recover to a secure position.
Perform a back or front float holding a buoyant aide and recover to a secure position.
Nil (no competition)
U7
From a standing position in waist deep water, perform a front glide, kick for 3m and recover to a secure position.
Perform a back or front float for a few seconds and recover to a secure position.
Nil (no competition)
U8
25m swim (any stroke)
1 min survival float
Nil (no water competition except for wade in waist deep water)
U9-U10
200m swim – freestyle (untimed)
1.5 min survival float
200m swim – freestyle, in less than 6 mins
1.5 min survival float
Min. 150m ocean swim (untimed)**
U11-U14
200m swim – freestyle (untimed)
3 min survival float
200m swim – freestyle, in less than 5 mins
3 min survival float
Min. 288m ocean swim (untimed)**
Notes Every junior member is required to participate and satisfy this evaluation prior to participation in any water hesitancy activity or training activity being undertaken.
For U9+, the competition evaluation must be achieved before being eligible to participate in:
- Wanda JAG water activities (training or nipper days)***
- Swim and Board events on Wanda JAG Championship days
- Compete in any swim or board events at carnivals
 
*The Competition Evaluation must be completed around a competition course
**U9+ nippers must wear a pink high-vis rash vest while completing the ocean swim.  A wetsuit is optional.
***U9+ nippers who have not achieved competition evaluation (but do have the preliminary evaluation) can take part in beach and wade activities on Sunday’s and at training, as well as specifically designed water hesitant programs with a higher water safety ratio.  They can take part in beach sprint, flags and wade events on Championship Days.
 

Hesitant Nippers

Some children will feel nervous and unsure about the proficiency swim.  We encourage you to bring your child to one of the proficiency days – there are plenty of other children doing the swim, as well as lots of water safety and older children on hand to help calm their nerves.  Children must do the swim unaided, but support will be nearby.
 
In the event your child is unable to complete the requirements there will be other opportunities to complete proficiency once nippers starts - keep an eye on the Wanda Nipper News emails for details.
 
For U8-U14 age groups, if your child does not meet the pool swim and float requirements, they may only take part in beach activities at nippers. 
 
In the event your child is hesitant, scared or upset about the ocean swim, or does not meet the ocean swim requirements (U9+ age groups), let them do the pool swim for now.  Then come along to the first weeks of nippers where they can take part in beach activities and wade activities, but are encouraged and supported to become fully proficient. 
 

Questions and help

Water Confidence Program Manager