Mount Martha Life Saving Club is pleased to run the Starfish Nippers Program. Starfish Nippers is a modified Nipper Program for children and young adults with special needs, that is included alongside our traditional Nipper Program.

The Starfish Nipper program was created by Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club. The program is now operating at many life saving clubs in Victoria. Starfish Nippers was created for children and young adults ranging from 6 years and above with special needs – including autism, attention deficit disorder, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Asperger’s Syndrome, physical and intellectual disabilities and learning difficulties. The Starfish Nippers Program is a wonderful addition to our Nippers Program. 

Activities for our Starfish Nippers include the traditional beach games and activities, beach running, beach flags, swimming, board skills, water familiarisation, beach, water and surf safety. We join in with other age groups for some fun relays and games. Each Nipper has a dedicated helper, we work with a ratio of 1:1 for beach activities and in some cases 2:1 for the water activities depending on the nipper’s ability. This ensures the program can be specially tailored to meet individual needs and skill levels in and out of the water, we offer positive instruction and encouragement along the way. However, we do have a policy which stipulates that a parent or carer must be on the beach at all times while the session is being run in case additional assistance is required.

Sessions will run on Sunday mornings running alongside our older Nippers with some occasional Friday night family fun sessions. We currently have 14 Starfish Nippers ranging from 7 to 20 years old, and many more helpers! We welcome any new helpers to our group, Bronze Medallion would be great, but not necessary, just a willingness to have fun, be active and get wet!

If you are interested in finding out more about the program, signing up or becoming a trainer for Starfish Nippers at MMLSC, please contact Sarah Hilli on 0419 313 437 or Julie Marshall on 0418 130 668. Alternatively, you can email