Competition is an exciting way for children to extend their skills and build club comradery. If your child is U/8-U14 and would like to compete there are 6 local carnivals scheduled for the 2018/2019 season. Your child doesn’t have to be the fastest, strongest or best to compete, it’s all about participation, team building and challenging your personal best against the elements.

If you are unsure about whether or not your child is eligible to participate in a carnival please speak to your Age Manager or Competition Co-ordinator. Carnivals can be an exciting change from the normal nipper day but with so many clubs attending, it can also be a daunting event for new nippers. Here are some useful tips:

Who can compete?

  • U8-U14s who have successfully completed their proficiency
  • Participants doing water events are required to wear a fluoro pink singlet (high visibility vest). This is
  • A competition levy should be paid to the club by children who are competing in carnivals. Note; this is in addition to memberships fees.
  • Selected events at NSW State Championships require qualification through Branch championships however not all events require qualification.
  • Under U/8s can compete in the following events: Beach Sprint, Beach Flags, Wade, Beach Relay (4 person), Wade Relay (4 person).
  • U/9s-U/10s can compete in the following events: Beach Sprint, Beach Flags, Surf race, Board race, Beach Relay (4 person), Swim teams (4 person), Board relay (3 person), All age beach relay (6 person), All age board relay (6 person).
  • U/11s-U/14s can compete in the following events: Beach Sprint, Beach Flags, Surf Race, Board Race, Ironperson, Beach Relay (4 person), Swim teams (4 person), Board relay (3 person), Board rescue (2 person), Cameron relay (4 person: 2 run, 1 swim, 1 board), All age beach relay (6 person), All age board relay (6 person).
  • Other events- March Past – Branch and State Championships only.
  • Pool Rescue Championships is another option for competition. Events are different from traditional surf carnivals. Children must be U/12 and up, competitions are generally held over the off-season.

Where are carnivals held?

  • Carnivals are held in the Newcastle Branch area.
  • NSW State Championships (U9- U14) will be hosted by Swansea Belmont SLSC in 2019.

How long do the carnivals go for?

  • Carnivals are usually held over one day. NSW State Championships are a 3 day event.
  • Carnival marshalling is at 7:30am, carnival starting 8am.
  • Most carnivals involve long hours so be prepared to be at the beach most of the day. Competition will be completed by 2pm.

How to enter?

  • For some endurance carnivals, members are required to enter themselves, this is NOT done by the club, e.g. Kracka Junior Ironperson, Hydrothons. Please contact Competition Co-ordinator for further information.
  • For SLSC carnivals competitors should contact the Competition Co-ordinator at Alternatively, you may see Tim or Emma Foran on beach days to notify your intention to enter. Notifications regarding entries will be sent out via the Team App and Face book. Registrations must be made before the cut-off date or a late fee will apply.
  • Nippers entering carnivals must have paid the $30 competition levy for the year. Pay this through your Surf Lifesaving NSW members portal. 
  • When you arrive at the carnival you are required to ‘mark off’ your name (near the hosting club’s clubhouse) and obtain a wrist/ankle band. Note: allow plenty of time to mark off your name as the queue may be long. Report to your appropriate age manger under the Redhead tent.

What to Bring

  • Redhead tents are provided for our members and families
  • You are more than welcome to bring your own umbrella/tent/chair and sit nearby
  • Children will require plenty of water and good nutritional food to last the whole day
  • Sunscreen, nipper cap, club costume, pink vest and warm clothes if the weather/wind turns

Club Craft

  • Foam boards are available to hire for U9-10s and require payment of a board levy. Please contact Gear Steward Mark Edwards if you require board hire.
  • Limited fibreglass boards are available for U11-13s
  • U14 members should contact the senior club to organise hire of Mals.

Team Selections

  • Selection into teams are made by a selection panel made by Age Group Managers
  • Based on performance at previous carnivals, championship days, nipper days, training sessions.
  • Surf conditions and time table also considered
  • General carnivals: participation, Branch carnivals: qualifying, State: performance
  • Teams may include younger age group members if required

PLEASE CHECK THE 2018/2019 NIPPER CALENDER FOR DATES AND LOCATIONS OF CARNIVALS. If you have any further enquiries please contact or your Age manager and be sure to check the Team App and Facebook for notifications.


At Redhead Nippers each season we will conduct a point score system which will be run for Beach Sprint, Beach Flags, Surf Swim and Board Race for both boys and girls from the under 9’s through to under 14’s to determine trophy winners. Points will be allocated as follows : 1st =6, 2nd =5, 3rd = 4, 4th =3, 5th =2, 6th =1. Points will be accumulated from regular beach event days each Sunday. We do not run separate club championships as the surf conditions at Redhead Beach are too unpredictable to allow for this. Trophies will be awarded to the first three place getters in each event (ie: Beach Sprint, Beach Flags, Surf Swim, and Board Race) with participation trophies being awarded to those members who attain 60% attendance (7 beach days).

For under 6, under 7, and under 8 members participation medals will be awarded to those children who achieve 60% attendance (7 beach days).


At Redhead Nippers we have a number of Perpetual Trophies that are awarded each year. Perpetual trophies will be awarded as follows :

Under 11 Male Iron Person, Under 11 Female Iron Person, Under 12 Male Iron Person, Under 12 Female Iron Person, Under 13 Male Iron Person, Under 13 Female Iron Person, Under 14 Male Iron Person, Under 14 Female Iron Person, Shane Gibbs Encouragement Award for Water Events, Nigel Gray Encouragement Award for Sand Events, Club Person Encouragement Award, and Club Captains Trophies.

Iron Person trophies will be awarded to the pointscore winner under the same pointscore system as for the other events (see above), whilst encouragement awards will be nominated by each age supervisor with all age supervisors meeting to vote and determine who they shall be awarded to. Club Captains trophies shall be awarded to the elected club captains.

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