Athlete Development

A pivotal part of Queensland’s continued success in surf sports is SLSQ’s strong focus on athlete development at grassroots level.

SLSQ has implemented an athlete development program which provides an opportunity for surf sports athletes to further develop their skills, allowing our members to reach their full potential. Traditionally, Queensland has produced some of the country’s best surf sports athletes and SLSQ is committed to continuing this tradition as well as offering athletes of any ability the opportunity to perform at their best.

Surf Sports Strategic Plan

Photo of Surf Sports Strategic Plan

Surf Sports Strategic Plan

Published 14 May 2021

The SLSQ High Performance Program aims to cultivate the state’s most promising surf sport athletes.

The SLSQ High Performance Program changes from year to year, but aims to provide opportunities to develop athletes across all sport disciplines in surf life saving, from summer competition, pool rescue, IRB racing and surf boat rowers.

Surf Life Saving Queensland is committed to developing athletes throughout Queensland and has a dedicated regional surf sport program to cater for northern competitors.

North Australian Surf Life Saving Championships

The North Australian Surf Life Saving Championships is one of Queensland’s major events, and is the largest surf sports event held outside of South-East Queensland. It is third only in size (number of competitors) behind the Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships and the Queensland Junior Surf Life Saving Championships.

The North Australian Surf Life Saving Championships are restricted to entry by surf lifesavers from clubs located within the Wide Bay Capricorn, North Barrier, and North Queensland branches as well as the Northern Territory – Hervey Bay in the south to Port Douglas in the north and across to Darwin and Gove. Competition is held across a range of events and caters to under-11 to masters’ competitors.

Queensland Country Team

The Queensland Country (under-13 to under-17) representative team is selected each year based on results achieved at the North Australian Championships. The team comprises of 40 competitors, with five males and five females selected from each age group – under-13, under-14, under-15 and under-17. The team competes annually at the Queensland Interbranch Championships against Sunshine Coast, South Coast and Point Danger branches.

Queensland Country High Performance Pool Rescue Squad

With a strong emphasis currently being placed on Pool Rescue Competition development within regional Queensland, SLSQ – through the SLSQ Regional Surf Sports Advisory Panel – have implemented a Queensland Country High Performance Pool Rescue Squad. This squad is selected annually (normally in May/June) with squad members given exposure to specialised coaching, attendance at training camps and an opportunity to attend high-level competitions and carnivals such as the State and National Pool Rescue Championships and the Arafura Games. For more information about the Queensland Country HP Pool Rescue Squad, please contact Craig Holden (

SLSQ Regional Surf Sports Advisory Panel

As part of this new focus on enhancing and growing surf sports in regional Queensland, the SLSQ Regional Surf Sports Advisory Panel was formed. The panel meets regularly and discusses strategic and operational issues to continue to develop surf sports in regional areas and to provide more opportunities for northern athletes to compete.

The Queensland Cyclones is the name SLSQ gives to its multiple state teams. SLSQ has four separate Queensland Cyclones teams that compete across summer competition, pool rescue, IRB and surf boats. These teams compete for an overall point-score trophy at each event as well as the Alan Whelpton Trophy, which is awarded to the winning state across all four championship events.

Other Ways To Get Involved


If you’re thinking of introducing your child to lifesaving, then Junior Activities (Nippers) is for you.


Do you fancy a front row seat at a diverse range of events? Use your passion for saving lives to raise awareness and funds for Surf Life Saving Queensland!

Work With Us

SLSQ offers a large number of volunteering, internship and work experience options for those looking to gain experience and make a contribution.

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