Aims to assists Surf Life Saving clubs to support the inclusion of people of different abilities and backgrounds to join their local club and learn to be safe at the beach.

Over 40 Surf Life Saving clubs across Australia are currently running inclusion programs for people of different abilities.

Inclusive beaches:

  • aims to support clubs looking to run an inclusive program at their club by providing information and resources to help create an inclusive beach environment for everyone as well as providing a platform for clubs to connect with other clubs running similar programs.
  • aims to supply resources and information around what families and participants should expect when participating in a Nippers program or visiting a beach.
  • aims to assist potential participants to locate a club running an inclusive program near them.


Inclusion is an attitude. It is about being an organisation where everyone feels welcome and valued. This starts from when a potential new member comes into contact with the club for the first time, through to the member actively participating in club activities.


If you are a club looking to set up an inclusive program and want to know what style of program will best suit your environment, or you are a parent or guardian looking to get your child involved in Nippers, below is the category of Nipper programs offered in Surf Life Saving.

Please note that the category definitions are a guide only, should you wish to obtain more information about the specific program we suggest you contact the clubs directly to find out more information:

Inclusion within Mainstream

A model that involves participants with different abilities integrating into the mainstream nipper program with minimal adaptation to the environment and equipment.

Ideal for: A club with small membership and resources, small nipper program, small demand for special needs programs.

Side-by-Side Program

A model designed to integrate children into an existing Nipper program by adding another group to the existing Club Nipper structure. The program is run at the same time and place as the Club Nipper program but with modified activities designed to suit their ability. Children are supported by volunteers and their parents in activities.

Ideal for: Clubs with medium to large memberships with reasonable resources, well-established nipper program, moderate to high demand for special needs program

Stand-Alone Program

A model designed specifically for the needs of the special needs community. The program is run at a different time and/or day to the Club’s Nipper program. The program is designed to allow maximisation of club resources.

Ideal for: Clubs with all levels of memberships, clubs with a strong volunteer base, high demand for special needs programs

Ad-hoc Events

A model designed for clubs who do not have the volunteer capacity, resources or participant need for a regular program but whom would like to offer an inclusive program for their community. The program can be a 1 day gala day or a short 3-6 week experience.

Ideal for: Clubs with all levels of membership, low demand for special needs programs, limited volunteers


Surf Life Saving Inclusive Beaches


Do you have members or interested members with different abilities within your Club and want to know how to best support them? Or are you an existing club running an inclusive program and would like more assistance. The following resources provide clubs with the tools they need to build a more inclusive beach for the whole community.

Surf Life Saving Inclusive Beaches


Trying something for the first time can be scary, you may feel a little more comfortable when you know what to expect. The following resource will help to assist you and your child understand Nippers and what to expect when visiting the beach.

Surf Life Saving Inclusive Beaches


Click on the link below to help locate an inclusive club near you.



This module is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about supporting children with disabilities in Nippers and at the beach. To have this course recognised on your Surfguard record please complete the course via the Members Portal.