Junior SURF program
South Brighton's Junior Surf Programme is an integral part of surf club activity and the future face and training ground for lifeguards. Children aged between 5-13 participate in organised activities that ensures they are surf and safety educated and confident enough to undertake training for their Surf Lifeguard Award at age 14. Our Junior Surf programme consists of a variety of activities including surf events, beach events, skills development and life guarding.
Our cadet members are rostered on patrols to help their development under the watchful eye of our senior members. We also encourage our junior members and parents to participate in course's provided by the district, which include risk management courses, parent coaching days and skills development training. At South Brighton we provide some of the best possible coaching in the district as we boast some of the country's best athletes and coaches who interact with the junior surf programme as much as they are able too.
Note, since the earthquakes the South Brighton beach has been declared safe by the Christchurch City Council (CCC) for normal use and the CCC and ECAN continue to monitor the water quality to ensure the health of all beach users going forward.
The 2018/2019 Season
The South Brighton Surf club aims to provide our junior surf members with a safe and fun environment in which to improve their water confidence and skills and develop their surf confidence and awareness in order to provide them with a platform to enjoy the surf environment safely. We also aim to introduce surf life saving competition standards in a fun and safe way.
The 2018/2019 season will shortly be commencing with a registration day to be announced. This will be an opportunity to order new togs, high vis vests, register and pay subs etc. Everyone is welcome to come to this day, whether your a new or returning member.
The first beach based session will be just after registration day. Weather can be variable at this time of the year (as I am sure you are all aware) so the first few weeks might be flexible in terms of water time etc.
JUNIOR SURF FAQ's:
What is the purpose of the junior surf program at South Brighton?
Our junior surf program focuses on having fun, learning how to be safe in the surf and participating in sports activities run on the beach and in the water every Sunday morning in summer (usually at the South Brighton beach). The children team up with a great group of kids and adults in suitable age groups for the mornings activities. SLSNZ run a number of carnivals and events throughout the season including junior surf carnivals, the Twilight Series, the Junior Canterbury Championships and the Southern Region Junior Championships. We encourage anyone who is interested in competing to get involved and have fun! While the junior program focuses on surf skills and confidence in the water it is not a learn-to-swim program. Swimming is fundamental to Surf Lifesaving and we encourage all children to improve their swimming through regular training and lessons.
How do the age groups work?
The group you are in is determined by your age on 30 September. If you are 8 on that date you will be in the U9s, if you are 11 then you will be in the U12s, etc.
What time does the Junior Surf program start and end?
The program starts promptly at 9.15 am with a briefing over general beach conditions and any notices about upcoming competitions, etc. Depending on the weather and conditions the day will wrap up at about 11.00 am but is dependent on conditions. If it’s a great summer day the session will often go past the official finish time.
What do children do on the day?
The day focus on two areas. First, learning some fundamentals about lifeguarding – the beach, surf, safety in the water, etc. Second, beach and water activities to prepare athletes for club competitions. Having fun, pushing yourself and contributing to the team are strongly emphasised. For the newcomers (especially the U8 to U10 year olds) there’s a focus on building water confidence. As athletes progress through the age groups, the activities become more demanding – such as the distance to swim and paddle, depth of water, size of surf – so it is important to gain confidence early. An environment of having fun and being with kids of the same age greatly helps with this.
What do I bring and what to wear?
Children in the program are required to wear a South Brighton surf lifesaving hat, and high visibility rash vest. Togs are fine along with a wetsuit. The club will supply a hat on your initial membership sign up and also provide club togs at cost. High visibility vests are also available for purchase (these are compulsory for children in the water). Please come prepared for all conditions however as it is the beach! Full wetsuits are highly recommended, particularly before Christmas when the water is still cool to cold.
Is gear supplied?
Yes, the South Brighton club provides gear for all levels of ability from foam boogie boards right through to fibre glass boards for older kids. No matter your ability we just ask that you treat all club gear with care and respect, particularly the boards. Carry them, don’t drag them when out of the water, and control them accordingly in the ocean. Whenever you use a board, you are responsible for returning it to the correct storage area rinsed and free from sand.
What is expected of parents / caregivers?
We always need help in the water, particularly with the U8 to U11 year olds. Typically, this is in waist deep water or shallower. We don’t need trained lifeguards but we need people who are confident swimmers and are happy to be in the water. If water isn't your thing, there are lots of other ways to help out on the beach or at the club, such as cooking the BBQ or helping to put gear away. We are always looking for parents who are keen to coach or manage as many hands make light work and we appreciate your help in delivering the quality programs we strive to provide. Without your help we will be unable to provide the programme as we would like.
Lastly we also ask that you arrive promptly and on time to all sessions, that you arrive prepared for all weather conditions and bring food and drink suitable for your children's needs.
To contact the club about the Junior Surf program, please use the form on the right: