St Clair Juniors

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About our Junior Club

The St Clair Junior Surf Lifesaving programme, or ‘Nippers’, is a great opportunity for families to become involved in surf lifesaving. Nippers teaches kids how they can keep themselves and their friends safe at the beach while having fun. Our Junior Surf programme enables kids to learn about being ‘surf smart’, learning about rips and waves and being safe, and the fundamentals of surf sport. We encourage children to have fun and develop their skills, so they can enjoy the beach and one day may be able to save someone else.

Click here for Junior Training info

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Junior Club Information

Saturday Junior Beach Club

Junior Beach Club is run on Saturdays starting at 2 pm sharp, ready to go in your wetsuit and hi-viz vest (compulsory). At least one parent or guardian must stay on the beach for all U10 athletes. Parents helpers are always welcome and appreciated. Club days are designed to be fun and we incorporate games and drills that match events run at carnivals. Juniors can compete at inter-club carnivals if they wish.

Surf Sport

Surf sport (carnivals) give children the chance to pursue a sport and develop skills such as board paddling, surf swimming and beach skills in age and stage appropriate ways.

U8s: compete in wading events and body boards races, as well as events on the beach.

U10s: require a 200m safety badge and compete in shortened swimming events and with 6ft 6” foam boards, as well as events on the beach.

U12s: require a 200m safety badge and compete in surf swimming events and on 8ft 10” boards, as well as events on the beach.

U14s: require a 200m safety badge and compete in surf swimming events, on 10ft 6” boards, and board and tube rescues as well as events on the beach.

Events include: beach sprint, beach relay, beach flags, 2km beach relay, surf swim, run-swim-run, board race, diamond race (swim and board), board relay, Cameron relay, tube rescue, board rescue.


Board Training: (U12s and U14s) Coach: Isaac Davies

Mini paddlers: (U9s-U10s) Coach: TBA

Sand Training: (U11s-U14s) Monday’s 4.30pm. Coach: TBA

Swimming training: Weds 6.30pm, Moana Pool all year round (term time).

200m Swim Safety Badge

All children using foam or fibreglass knee boards or competing in water events which go beyond waist depth, must have completed their 200m safety award. This is a mandatory safety requirement.

They must: Swim 200m with no stopping in under 7 minutes, then tread water for 1 minute.

The purpose of this swim is so that candidates will demonstrate that they are confident in the ocean and are capable of returning to shore if they are separated from their equipment. Candidates must be able to swim the 200m confidently. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate can re-test but they must have swum their 200m safety test in order to participate in open sea and board training.


Carnivals are a great opportunity to participate in both a fun and competitive environment, meet nippers from other clubs, and see other beaches. The emphasis is always on safety, sportspersonship and enjoyment. It is important to bring:

  • St Clair competition cap (white with two black stripes) with 200m badge sewn on if applicable
  • Black St Clair togs
  • Wetsuit & hi-vis vest
  • Food & plenty of water to drink
  • Sun hat & sunscreen
  • Towel & warm clothing, including a warm/beach jacket to put on between events
  • Enthusiasm and a positive, keen attitude!

The surf sport season consists of 4 local carnivals, Otago Championships, South Island Championships and, once your child is an under 11 they can compete at the junior age-group National Championships (Ocean’s) in Mt. Maunganui.


It is mandatory to wear a hi-vis vest during junior surf activities (or a hi-vis singlet). Club cap must be worn for carnivals. These items are available for purchase at registration and on Saturdays at Junior Surf sessions. Hi-vis vests must be worn if using knee boards at all times – no exceptions.

Parents & Caregivers (your involvement):

We encourage all parents to take the opportunity to become active contributors to the junior programme. Your help during training sessions is always required and appreciated by the coaches whether setting up equipment, cleaning and packing away the gear, helping on the beach or being involved in the water. Parent involvement is also crucial at surf carnivals. Whether it be as an age-group manager, water helper/official or putting up the club tent. If you wish to be involved or have a great idea please contact the Junior Surf co-ordinator.

Junior Surf Gear Usage and Guidelines:

All water equipment used in training and at the carnivals has been bought by St Clair SLSC for use by its members with money raised by club members through fundraising events, sponsorship and grants. The Club gear (boards, body boards, tubes, etc) is expensive to purchase and to maintain. Most gear damage is avoidable. Teach your kids to be careful and respectful of the hard work it has taken to get this equipment. If you see kids struggling with the gear, please give them a hand. Every ‘ding’ in a board costs time and money to repair.

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