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‘Hundreds of SLSNZ members to descend on Tauranga for biggest lifesaving carnival’

Hundreds of junior Surf Life Saving New Zealand members will soon be descending on Tauranga for the biggest junior lifesaving carnival in the country.

Oceans: Festival of Junior Lifesaving provides members with the opportunity to compete, push their limits, and celebrate the camaraderie of surf lifesaving in a fun and safe beach and surf environment.

Taking place on Mount Maunganui Beach from 22 – 25 February, this year will see over 700 junior members participating from 46 Surf Life Saving clubs.

Matt Cairns, SLSNZ National Events Manager, said, “There are members coming from all over the country. It’s obvious the spirit and commitment of the next generation of surf lifeguards is alive and well and we can’t wait to see them in action.”

The carnival will be broken up into U11, U12, U13 and U14 age groups, with events including Sprint Race, Surf Race, Board Race, and Run-Swim-Run.

Cairns said, “While the event is made up of a number of races, the festival is all about participating. Putting a foot on the line after a full summer training is an accomplishment in itself, so we hope all of the juniors make the most out of this fantastic opportunity as they create new friendships, develop new skills, and celebrate together.”

This year marks the carnivals 24th anniversary, and it owes its success not only to its members but also its invaluable partners, including Tauranga City Council and the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund which is made up of five local funders – Acorn Foundation, BayTrust, Tauranga City Council, TECT, and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

Nelita Byrne, Manager Venues and Events at Tauranga City Council, said, “Our region is lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful beaches, and we witness firsthand the incredible efforts of surf lifeguards in ensuring beachgoers are safe. That’s why we’re proud to support Oceans: Festival of Junior Lifesaving, as we recognise the importance of having a strong community of surf lifeguards, beginning with juniors.

“We’re also excited about showing the juniors and their friends and whānau our incredible region and all it has to offer. From the beach to Mauao, there’s plenty to see and do.”

Thousands of people are expected at Mount Maunganui Beach over the four days. Along with plenty of action on the beach and in the surf, there’ll be food stalls and a giant big screen replaying all the action.


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