Oceans 21 Celebrates its “Coming of Age”

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Press Release

February 23, 2021

[Image: Competitors at last year’s Oceans ’20; photo credit Rod Salt]

More than 800 Junior Surf members from around Aotearoa New Zealand will make their way to Mt Maunganui’s Main Beach on Thursday for one of the country’s largest children’s sporting events.

Oceans ’21 turns…well…21 this year and a sense of relief and celebration is in the air. Last week’s COVID-19 alert level changes raised uncertainty as to whether Oceans ‘21 could go ahead – and whether Auckland competitors would be able to attend if the city remained at Alert Level 2. Hundreds of participants held their breath leading up to Monday afternoon’s announcement.

Steve Brennan, Volunteer Coach at Orewa Surf Life Saving Club and father to 14-year-old Oceans ’21 competitor Elizabeth Brennan, says the family was elated to hear confirmation that they could participate in what’s become an annual highlight.

“This is Elizabeth’s final year of competing at Oceans and she’s worked so hard to get here, even training during lockdowns,” he says.

“There was a massive sense of relief when we heard that Auckland was going back down to Level 1 – we were really crossing our fingers – and now we can’t wait to head down and support her. It’s going to be an incredible event.”

Oceans ’21 is an iconic Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) tradition which encapsulates the joy, excitement and skill involved in Surf Lifesaving, as well as providing a chance for kids aged 10 – 14 to test their mettle in a safe surf environment.

Over four action-packed days, Junior Surf competitors will take part in events designed to emulate real-life beach rescue situations.

“We’re expecting a decent swell throughout the competition and our Juniors will be provided with an awesome opportunity to test their surf lifesaving skills,” says Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Sport Events Manager, Mark Inglis.

“These young people are the future of Surf Lifesaving and we can’t wait to see what they’re capable of!”

For further information about Oceans ’21, visit the event page on the SLSNZ Website.

Oceans ’21 Event Information

When: Thursday, Feb 25 – Sunday, Feb 28

Where: Mount Maunganui - Main Beach


  • 849 competitors aged 10 - 14
  • 47 of 74 SLSNZ Clubs from as far south as Dunedin and as far north as Ruakaka.

Age groups:

  • U11
  • U12
  • U13
  • U14

Individual events:

  • Sprint
  • Flags
  • Run Swim Run
  • Surf Race
  • Diamond Race (swim, board and run)
  • Board Race

Team events:

  • Beach Relay
  • 2km Beach Relay
  • Board Relay
  • Grand Cameron Relay (6 person run, swim, board paddle event)
  • Tube Rescue and Board Rescue

Competing clubs:

  • Bethells Beach SLSP
  • Brighton SLSC
  • East End SLSC
  • Fitzroy SLSC
  • Foxton SLSC
  • Lyall Bay SLSC
  • Mairangi Bay SLSC
  • Mangawhai Heads SLSC
  • Maranui SLSC
  • Midway SLSC
  • Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service
  • Muriwai VLS
  • New Brighton SLSC
  • New Plymouth Old Boys SLSC
  • North Beach SLSC
  • Ocean Beach Kiwi SLSC
  • Omaha Beach SLSC
  • Omanu SLSC
  • Opunake SLSC
  • Orewa SLSC
  • Otaki SLSC
  • Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards
  • Papamoa SLSC
  • Pauanui SLSC
  • Piha SLSC
  • Pukehina Surf Rescue
  • Red Beach SLSC
  • Ruakaka SLSP
  • South Brighton SLSC
  • Spencer Park SLSC
  • St Clair SLSC
  • St Kilda SLSC
  • Sumner SLSC
  • Taylors Mistake SLSC
  • Titahi Bay SLSC
  • Waihi Beach LS
  • Waikanae SLSC
  • Waikuku Beach SLSC
  • Waimairi SLSC
  • Waimarama SLSC
  • Wainui SLSC
  • Westshore SLSC
  • Whakatane SLSC
  • Whangamata SLSC
  • Whiritoa LS
  • Worser Bay LSC

If media would like to attend Oceans’ 21, please contact SLSNZ Media and Communications Manager Mackenzie Koppel for event accreditation.

021 757 433



SLSNZ is the national association representing 74 surf lifesaving clubs with 18,000+ members, including more than 4,500 volunteer Surf Lifeguards. Our lifeguards patrol over 90 locations each summer and provide emergency call-out rescue services throughout Aotearoa, saving hundreds of lives each year and ensuring thousands return home safe after a day at the beach.

We do all this as a charity and rely on the generosity of the public, commercial partners, foundations and trusts for donations and financial contributions in order to lead and support our incredible front-line volunteer lifeguarding services.