Rookies 13 year olds


The Rookie Lifeguard Programme has been designed to help junior surf members prepare to be a Surf Lifeguard. The Rookie Lifeguard Programme aims to promote “practical lifeguarding” to the younger members and develop strong ties between senior and junior members as a result of involvement.

The target audience for this programme is 13-year-old junior surf members wishing to become a Surf Lifeguards next season.

About Rookies

The courses consist of 1-hour sessions in which qualified Surf Lifeguards teach your children Water Safety rules, coaching surf sports on the beach and water safety skills in the sea. Specific activities include:

  • Health, sun smart & conservation
  • Surf & swimming skills
  • Role of a surf lifeguard and patrolling
  • Signals, flags & radio operations
  • Rescue, releases & tube rescue
  • First aid & emergency care
  • Primary survey & CPR
  • Practical surf skills
  • Patrol equipment & clubhouse

At the end of the season, normally around the start of April, the Eastern Region Rookie Championships are held. This is a team event although members can enter as individuals, it is essentially a junior version of the Lifeguard Patrol Championships which involves a surf swim, tube/board rescue relay, theory test, CPR demonstration, first aid scenario and a patrol scenario. Points are gained by the overall placings in the swim and relay as well as points for performance in the other areas.

The team with the most points is crowned the Top Eastern Region Rookie Team and the male/female individuals with the most individual points are crowned Top Eastern Region Rookie male/female respectfully.

Rookies that have competed at the Rookie Challenge, also completed their Rookie Lifeguard Booklet to a high standard as well as patrolled alongside active Lifeguards are put forward for the Harrison Mundy Eastern Region Rookie of the Year award. This award is presented at the Surf Lifesaving Eastern Region Awards of Excellence held in July.


  • The first day is 28 December 2017, the last is  the 18th of January 2018
  • Sessions are daily, Monday to Saturday
  • We meet outside the club, beach side

Child Requirements

  • Be 13 years of age by the 1st October
  • Be able to swim 200 metres in a pool in under 4:30mins
  • Current member of an SLS club

Parent Expectations

  • Parents are not required at Rookie sessions
  • At events such as carnivals, please be respectful and supportive towards other clubs and their kids. It has never been an issue for Whiritoa, but just wanted to mention this just to be sure.


  • If you have been a member – you should get a re-registration pack through the post
  • If you are a new member – see us at the clubrooms on Registration Day (27 December 2017), or register at the bar when open ASAP

Checklist for a Rookies

What to wear during the session:

  • Whiritoa Togs
  • Whiritoa Hi Vis Vest (Needed for water activities)
  • Wetsuit (optional, recommended for extra slim kids)

What to have with you at the beach:

  • Towel
  • Drink bottle with water
  • Sunscreen (pre-applied, there is usually a large bottle at the club)
  • Plenty of energy

Wet Weather and cancellations

We almost never cancel a Rookie session; we’re always there, rain, hail or shine. But if there is just no choice, we will work inside the clubrooms on theory.

This course is an intermediate step to becoming a lifeguard. We find that the earlier they start these programmes, the better lifeguards they become in the future.

For any questions about any of the  Junior Surf Programmes, contact Maiya Bonney via email

Or talk to one of our rookie coaches, Josh White or Jack Bonney.

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