The Junior Development Program pathway enhances knowledge and skills through planned learning outcomes that are tailored to each of the age groups. This ensures the content is relevant and in line with lifesaving and surf sports most up to date training standards and most of all exciting!
Nippers only need to be actively involved in the training to be eligible for an award. We believe this is the best way to introduce children to surf lifesaving where fun takes priority over being ‘tested’. There is a surf education award for each age group.
The Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) is the introductory award for patrolling members of the club. This is usually obtained as an U14 member and does require assessment which includes:
- Written or oral examination
- Performance of basic skills
- Simulation of rescue scenarios
Below is a summary of each of the surf education awards.
Surf Play 1 & 2 (Under 6 & Under 7)
Surf Play focuses on play, participation and fun. Activities and games will be the main aim of sessions, with a number of simple beach safety and awareness lessons available such as: guidelines, the importance of having an adult with them at the beach, what a lifesaver is and what they do, wading, beach sprinting and beach flags.
Surf Aware 1 (Under 8)
Surf Aware 1 is all about understanding, identifying and demonstrating sun smart guidelines and dangers that relate to themselves, as well as what it means to feel safe. Nippers learn to recognise when they or someone else is, in an emergency situation and how to get help. Ecosurf discusses the beach environment and communities surf lifesavers operate in. Surf sports skills focus on; body-boarding, wading, dolphin-diving, beach sprint starts and beach flags starts.
Surf Aware 2 (Under 9)
Surf Aware 2 builds on Surf Aware 1. Personal Safety Networks are introduced so participants are comfortable asking for help. Ecosurf talks about the impact surf lifesavers can have on the beach. Safety of self-steps up on a gear by introducing safety tips and the ability to identify hazardous surf conditions. As an U9, participants can begin to use a nipper board, so basic board positioning and paddling is introduced. Other surf sports skills focus on; body boarding, sand running technique and diving for a beach flag.
Surf Safe (Under 10)
The first of the Surf Safe Awards, Surf safe 1 begins to get a little more specific in its lessons introducing a number of new topics. Ecosurf focuses on water conservation and in sun safety; the spotlight is on the consequences of skin damage. Participants learn about rips, recognising unsafe behaviours and relating these areas to preventative actions. Resuscitation is introduced for the first time with an opportunity to experience CPR on a manikin. Rescue techniques are also introduced for the first time as participants learn to use the body boards to assist distressed swimmers and experience rescue tubes. Surf sports skills focus on; entering and negotiating the surf on a board and beach relay baton changes.
Surf Safe 2 (Under 11)
Surf Safe 2 takes a significant step up in the level of content. As U11’s they have the ability to learn more technical aspects of lifesaving and are able to be more physical in surf sports skills. Participants are encouraged to persist when needing help and Ecosurf gets into energy conservation. There is a strong focus on recognising ‘at risk’ people and recognising and managing patients suffering from a range of basic first aid cases. As a 10 year old, participants can learn how to perform CPR and there is an opportunity to work towards a Resuscitation Certificate. There is also a strong section on communication, both interpersonal and through beach signage. Surf Sports Skills focus on; board dismounts, catching waves on a board, board relay, surf swimming techniques, crouching beach sprints starts and ironman/iron women and cameron relay transitions.
Surf Smart 1 (Under 12)
Surf Smart 1 continues similar to Surf Safe 2. Participants begin to learn about their rights and responsibilities as a member of SLSA. The Ecosurf lesson looks at how hot weather impacts on the beach environment. Personal health, wellbeing and sun safety is focused on skin cancer and staying fit and healthy respectively. The role of patrols is first introduced to this award as is the managing of rips and using them to assist in rescues. As an 11 year old, participants can work towards a Basic Emergency Care Certificate (as well as the Resuscitation Certificate). This certificate comprises of lessons in the human body, complete basic first aid and resuscitation. Some more signals are introduced that complement the first set previously learnt. Board skills come into play as participants learn how to conduct a board recue. The focus of surf sports skills is to complete all the skills in each skill set and includes; rolling under waves on a board, diving under large waves, beach sprint arm and leg drive and beach flag race strategies.
Surf Smart 2 (Under 13)
The last of the junior development awards, Surf Smart 2 looks to wrap up the skills and knowledge learnt in all previous awards. Participants learn about what the SLSA Member Safety and Wellbeing Policy is, and in Ecosurf they tackle the issues of Global Warming and
Climate Change and how they will impact on surf life saving. Surf safety is wrapped up into the 10 Surf Safety Tips, Communication focuses on the importance of communicating with beach users, patrols identifies other professional emergency services and participants will experience performing a tube rescue. Participants can work towards a Basic Emergency Care Certificate (as well as the Resuscitation Certificate). This certificate comprises of lessons in the human body, complete basic first aid and resuscitation. The focus of surf sports skills is on bringing all the skills learnt in the previous awards together to participate in an event for each of the disciplines: board race, board rescue, surf race, run- swim-run, beach sprint, beach relay, beach flags, ironman/ iron woman and aqua cameron relay.
Surf Rescue Certificate (Under 14)
When participants progress from the junior development awards and/or reach the age of 13 they are eligible to study for and gain their Surf Rescue Certificate. This extends their knowledge and skills developed to date to be ultimately qualified to participate in surf lifesaving patrols. Participants will usually continue to be involved in the nipper program during this year continuing to increase their surf sports skills whist enjoying the camaraderie and friendships they have developed throughout nippers. This provides them with the pathway to move into the senior ranks in the current and/or following season.
Any nipper who is turning 13 or who has turned 13 MUST enrol in the SRC course.