Junior Carnivals, Competition and Surf Education

About Nipper Competition

At Freshwater SLSC Nippers, we aim to promote an interest in the activities of Surf Lifesaving. We also wish to teach children water safety, an understanding of surf life saving through fun & good competition.

Important Information for Freshwater Nipper families, especially those that will be taking part in surf sports/carnivals and training. 

Competition Vision, Principles and Goal Statement


Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club is a club envied by others. Successful results in competition are achieved through a number of factors:

·         structured approach;

·         organised support team;

·         dedicated and committed approach of its competitors to training;

·         the strong bond between its competitors;

·         a willingness to fill teams in all possible events.


Surf Life Saving (SLS) is the platform from which surf sports is based. All competitors are expected to fulfil their SLS obligations as a prerequisite to their competition. Mutual respect between competitors of all disciplines encourages participation and support throughout the club. The focus on junior development and the loyalty of its competitors allows a long term approach to development and ensures long term success of the club.


To promote a culture of friendship, loyalty and fun, and facilitate the senior competitors mentoring juniors;

To ensure development of juniors in all areas and provide a development pathway to open competition;

To have representation in all areas of surf sports competition;

To build a complete club structure supporting all competitors in planning, coaching, and managing in all areas of competition

To build an inventory of quality equipment and facilities to allow all competitors to perform to their potential and improve their life saving skills 

Surf Education

The Junior Development Program (Surf Education) is an integral part of our Junior Activities Program and must be completed by all nippers each season.

The SLSA’s children’s education program consists of three levels of learning; Surf Awareness, Surf Safety and Surf Smart.

The Surf Ed program developed by SLSA is based on the principles of participation, social justice and environment.

Junior Carnivals and Events

All junior competition and events are run under the rules and regulations specified in SLSA’s Competition and Rules Handbook.

Several junior carnivals are held throughout the season, open to nippers from under 8’s to under 14’s.

Please check the Team App for information on dates and locations and refer to the Team App page for programs and results when they become available.

Any nipper interested in taking place in a carnival should contact their age manager.

Like all activities within Nippers, Junior Carnivals are run by volunteers. To enable Freshwater Nippers to compete at Carnivals within Sydney Northern Beaches and State we must meet a quota of 1 Water Safety to 5 nippers and 1 Official to 10 entrants/competitors.

We need the help of families to enable our nippers to compete;

  • To assist with water safety you must be a proficient Bronze Medallion or Surf Rescue Certificate holder, if you would like information on obtaining your Bronze Medallion please refer to Education.
  • To officiate at carnivals you will need to be a Level 1 Official, if you are interested in completing the course please contact the Nippers Secretary Jenny Bourgeois.

Beach Events

  • Beach sprints
  • Beach Sprint Relays
  • Beach Flags
  • All age Relay
  • March Past
  • 2 & 5 person R&R

Water Events

  • Surf Race
  • Surf Teams Race
  • Wade Race
  • Wade Relay race
  • Board Race
  • Board Relay Race
  • Junior Board Rescue
  • Senior Board Rescue
  • Junior Cameron Relay Race
  • Senior Cameron Relay Race
  • Ironman/Ironwoman Race
  • Surf board riding 12’s-14’s

(U-11 and U-12 children are considered Juniors in these events and U-13 and U-14 children are considered Seniors).

Club Championships

The Freshwater club championships are held every February/March towards the end of the season. To be eligible to compete at the club championships, all competitors must have attended a minimum of SIX Sunday morning activities between the date of registration and the championships. Attendance at local carnivals as a club representative is also taken into account when determining whether the minimum attendance requirements have been met.

If the Club Championships are postponed or delayed then the above rule still applies as children may have then obtained their minimum number of Sunday activities. During Club Championships NO water safety officer or official shall interfere or assist competitors. The club championship referee shall be the sole person to determine either a re-run or disqualification of either an event or competitor.

To be eligible to be the Age Champion, competitors must have competed in all four disciplines in the club championship program.

Club Championships are for U8-U14 registered Freshwater Nippers and include Water and Beach events and Ironperson.


Both land and water training sessions are held regularly each week. Please go to our Training page or Team App for more details on training.

Nippers on a Sunday, is about fun and sun, surf awareness and skill development. It's also about building a community around a very proud and distinguished club. Beyond that there is also a very strong competition element for those that wish to represent the club. We compete in Newport, Queenscliff and Narrabeen SNB carnivals. There are also two Board classics – Dee Why and our own Freshwater IronMan. Add to that, Australia Day, Branch, State, and Club Championships.

With respect to competition, the priority of the committee is to maximise our club efforts in our Branch events - to bolster numbers competing in those and therefore gain valuable points. The club has a strong tradition in competition, but one built on balance. To support this the Saturday training programme for the U9 - 13s includes all three disciplines - swim, board and land. The session runs for 90 minutes. This complements Manly Dam training on Wednesdays. Post-Christmas we add Monday training for Branch and State competitors.

There is a burden of responsibility for all clubs sending competitors to local, Branch and State Surf Carnivals which requires provision of water safety personnel and officials at the ratio of 1:5 water safety and 1:10 carnival officials. If we are not able to meet our requirements, we will have to advise children that they will not be able to compete.

We require parents from each group to share this responsibility. Running a club of this size requires the generosity of volunteers. We are a family club and we need to share the workload rather than it be done by only a small group of parents. Our website provides information on how you can help. Visit http://www.freshwaterslsc.com/nippers/nippers_competition/

Water Safety

Bronze or SRC holders are asked to support us on normal nippers with water events and those whose children are competing are also asked to volunteer to assist with water safety at carnivals. We are generally given one water area to look after and employ a rotational roster system to engage as many as possible in this task.

Carnival Officials

Being an official is a great way to understand how a carnival works, and an opportunity to encourage all competitors. There are experienced officials there to help you and it is a great way to give something back to Freshwater Nippers and still see your child compete. Generally parent officials are able to nominate a preferred area to ensure we can watch our own children compete.

Level One Officials courses are online. Participants are sent a link to complete and submit the home task and print a certificate of completion to take to the course. The $90 cost is paid by Freshwater SLSC.

Level One Courses:

The course will provide you with the theory required to attend 3 carnivals as a trainee official. If you have any questions or you are interested in attending the official course please contact Jenny Bourgeois.


Attendance to carnivals requires the transfer of a tent for protection from the elements and a rescue board for water safety for EACH Age Group. The equipment needs to be transported from the Club to the carnival location.

A parent is required to organise a roster of competing families to assist with these tasks

If your child(ren) is/are looking to compete at carnivals this season, you are required to fill one of the above rolls at least 3 times during the season.