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Lifeguarding

Keeping our coast lines safe since 1911.

Sumner SLSC has an excellent reputation as a key patrolling club in Canterbury. We have one of the busiest and challenging beaches in Christchurch and we hold a high standard of expectations for our lifeguards.

Lifeguarding has been happening at Sumner since 1911, and it is still a main focus of the Club today. Sumner prides itself on producing some of the most capable and confident guards that can happily carry out Surf NZ’s vision of “no-one drowns on our beaches.”


Anyone who is 14 years or older is able to gain their Life Guarding award, and we welcome people from all walks of life. Once completing your 8 week lifeguarding course, you will be rostered onto one of Sumner’s patrols. Patrols are spread out over the season and run every Saturday & Sunday from 11am-5pm. The season starts on show weekend in November and finishes in mid March. 


Lifeguarding is a great way to gain life experiences, attain qualifications, and build relationships. We accept all abilities and are a welcoming club of diverse individuals, so If you're looking at something fantastic to do this summer, why not give it a go!

How to Become a Surf Lifeguard.

The Surf Lifeguard Award covers the basic skills and knowledge required to be a Surf Lifeguard. The Surf Lifeguard Award is the first step on the Surf Life Saving New Zealand lifeguard pathway. Here at Sumner we believe that the best way to learn is to have an active participation in lifeguarding, which means that once you are qualified you can slip right into place on our patrols. We run a 6-8 week comprehensive programme that teaches you all you need to know about lifeguarding such as water safety, first aid and communication skills. Along with this programme we allow our lifeguards in training to join in on our weekend voluntary patrols, where they are actively involved in all aspects of lifeguarding and putting their training in action

Contact: info@sumnerslsc.co.nz if you’re interested. Or sign up using the link below. 

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Other areas to get involved in once you have your Lifeguard award:

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First aid, Intermediate Guard, Board and Rock Rescue Modules:

Rock Module

The Rock Training & Rescue Module is the starting point for training lifeguards in rock activities and operations. This module gives Surf Lifeguards the knowledge and skill required to perform rock entries, exits and rescues. This is a fun and challenging module for all levels of lifeguards run by experienced lifeguards in a safe environment. 

Intermediate Guard:

Intermediate Lifeguard School is designed to provide junior lifeguards with the skills, development, knowledge and further understanding to develop as a lifeguard. The school is a dynamic combination of theory and practical based sessions to enhance the candidate's learning through a variety of situations. Intermediate Lifeguard School is delivered via a two-day camp and is a great opportunity for junior lifeguards to become more confident and capable lifeguards. The target audience for this course is lifeguards who have been patrolling for 1-2 seasons and are ready to further develop their lifeguarding skills. This award is a districally run award usually held at the beginning of March over one weekend. Keep an eye out on our facebook page for when registrations open.

IRB Drivers and Crew Module

Crewperson's Course

The IRB Crewperson Module is the starting point for education in the IRB. This course is a stepping stone for new lifeguards to gain some more responsibility on patrols. After completing the crew person's course you will know the basics of the IRB and be able to partake in rescues and interventions involving the IRB. The crew person award is a progression to your senior lifeguard award. 



Drivers Course

The IRB Drivers award is designed to create competent IRB drivers who can readily respond to situations in the surf using the IRB. The qualification has a number of theoretical and practical components such as driving in the surf, solo driving and maritime regulations to prepare Surf Lifeguards for IRB use. Our IRB drivers course is a 10 week comprehensive course that involves practical and theory trainings. Once gaining your IRB drivers award you are recognised as a Senior Lifeguard in the club, which comes with more leadership opportunities. 

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Patrol Captain Award, Instructor Awards, Advanced Guard Award and much more!

Patrol Captains

The Patrol Captains award is another way to gain your Senior Lifeguard Award. This award provides information on what you need to know and be able to do as a patrol captain. The qualification also covers theory on leadership topics which are then put into practice during scenarios. This prepares Surf Lifeguards for the leadership role that is essential to being a successful patrol captain. This award is a districally run award so keep an eye out for more information on our facebook pages. 


Advanced Guard 

The Advanced Lifeguard Award is gained by completing all of the prerequisites and successfully completing a National Lifeguard School. The National Lifeguard School combines dynamic theory sessions with a number of intensive practical and scenario based activities. Candidates will be extended both physically and mentally and a good level of fitness is required. This is the highest lifeguarding award you can gain in your lifeguarding pathway. This is a nationally run 3 day course which happens in December. Keep an eye out on the Surf Lifesaving New Zealand page for when registrations open.

Search and Rescue

The Sumner Search & Rescue Squad are a highly skilled group that provide year round after hours response to assist Police and Coastguard in Maritime Emergencies.


All of our SAR members are 18 years or over and are able to join the squad once they have developed sufficient experience in the Patrolling environment.

They undergo regular training in emergency management, inshore searching, rock rescue and advanced first aid to ensure they are always at the top of their game.

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