Thousands of Nippers to hit Hunter beaches from this weekend

Mark Colless, Theo, Sully and Hollie Moulton.

THOUSANDS of children and parents will return to Hunter beaches as Nippers gets underway.

Nippers is run across the thirteen Hunter SLS clubs from Catherine Hill Bay to Tea Garden Hawks Nest.

Thanks to support from Newcastle Permanent, the iconic beach and water safety program for kids aged five to thirteen will run most Sundays from October until the end of February.

Newcastle Permanent chief financial officer and keen surfer, Mark Colless, said Nippers is a vital community program that offers personal development skills for young people and helps make beaches safer.

Mr Colless said Nippers gives kids skills to keep themselves and others safe when at the beach, such as being able to identify rips and rescuing someone in trouble.

“Nippers is also the recruitment and training ground for our future surf lifesavers, who patrol our beaches to keep us safe every weekend,” Mr Colless said.

“At Newcastle Permanent we’re here for the community and Nippers benefits everyone in the community.

“The young people I meet from Nippers programs are impressive and confident because it gives them teamwork and leadership skills.”

Two nippers looking forward to the start of the season are brothers Theo (aged 9) and Sully Moulton (aged 6).

The boys have been doing Nippers for three years and one year respectively.

The family arrived in Australia from England three years ago and saw Nippers to make connections in the community and give the boys surf skills.

Mum, Hollie Moulton, volunteers as a Nippers age manager.

“I look forward to going to nippers because we have fun while learning.

“My favourite part of Nippers is going out on the boards and how the age managers teach us water safety and how to read the rip,” Theo said.

“I love Nippers because I get to meet new friends and have fun. I love doing the flags the best,” Sully said.

Hunter Surf Life Saving (SLS) branch president Henry Scruton said it takes funding and resources to provide surf life saving services and programs such as Nippers.

Mr Scruton said the branch’s 42-year partnership with Newcastle Permanent is vital to its programs such as Nippers.

“As well as program funding support, Newcastle Permanent supplies surf life saving clubs with mandatory hot pink Nippers rashies to make the program more affordable for families,” Mr Scruton said.

“Nippers learn lifesaving and CPR, as well as surf safety, awareness, and rescue skills while completing fun surf sport activities such as catching waves, board paddling, beach sprints and flags.

“It is a fun and healthy activity for parents and kids to do together, and a great way to make new friends.”

Registrations for Nippers are still open.

To find your nearest Nippers program visit

All clubs accept Active Kids Program vouchers for payment of registration fees.

Every year, Newcastle Permanent invests almost $1.5 million into local communities through its partnerships, employee donations, volunteering and fundraising programs.

This includes support for every surf life saving club from the Central Coast to the Queensland border.

Leave a Reply