Junior Competition & Carnivals


Competition is a successful recruiting tool for the Surf Life Saving Movement. Each season we participate in 5 club carnivals throughout the NQ Branch, culminating in the North Queensland Branch Championships. The Surf Sports program offers a wide range of competition events for all ages. Some nippers (U11s & up) nominate for the North Australian Championships held at the end of our season, and some nippers are eligible for selection for the NQ Branch Youth Team to compete at the State Youth Championships in March.

How do I know which age group I am in?

Who can compete?

U8 – U14s are the only age groups allowed to compete at carnivals. Anyone who has completed their run-swim-run can compete and nippers need to obtain their age award before competing at Branch or State. Nippers need to compete in their age group for individual events but compete in the above age group as well as their own age group in team events.

Where are carnivals held?

Members generally compete at carnivals held at Mission Beach, Port Douglas, Ellis Beach, Etty Bay and our very own Palm Cove Beach. There are unrestricted carnivals held all over Australia that nippers can enter if they choose to travel.

How long do the carnivals go for?

U8-U10 Carnivals are held over one day and normally finish around 2pm, whereas the U11-U14 carnivals can be held over two days (Sat & Sun). Most carnivals marshal approx 7.45am, with a club warm up being held at 7am. Most carnivals involve long hours so be prepared to be at the beach most of the day.

How to enter?

First notify your Age Manager that you can attend, so that teams can be organised. Payment can be made via the online entry system-Lifesaving online, or you can pay at the administration office or via direct bank transfer. Most carnivals have late entries available, so if you have missed the cut off, your child will need to pay the late entry fee to enter. You will not be nominated if you have not paid.

What to Bring?

There are Cairns SLSC tents that we provide for our members and we ask parents to bring their own umbrella/tent/chair and sit nearby. You will require plenty of water and food to last the day, sunscreen, nipper cap, club costume, stinger suit, towel and warm clothes if the weather/wind turns.

Club Craft

Cairns SLSC has a variety of fiberglass and foamie boards that members can use at carnivals. This craft will be transported to the carnival via our board trailer, and the boards will be taken to the beach near the tent. You are required to bring back any craft used to the tent immediately after your race. If you need a board to use, please ensure that your Age Manager is aware.

How can parents help?

Without the help of parents, nipper days and carnivals would not be able to be held. The club needs to supply one official and one water safety officer for every 10 nippers entered. Eg 70 nippers entered, 7 officials and 7 water safety officers.

Team Selections?

Cairns SLSC also compete in a number of team events at carnivals during the season. Selection into these teams is made by the JAC with advice from the Age Group Managers.

2024 Carnival Dates