The rip rule says- stay cool!

Surf skills: The Tradies surf awareness clinic teaches kids how to enjoy the surf safely. Picture: Lisa McMahon.
Surf skills: The Tradies surf awareness clinic teaches kids how to enjoy the surf safely. Picture: Lisa McMahon.

The 36th annual Elouera Surf Life Saving Club and Tradies Surf Awareness Clinic will be held January 8 to 12.

This unique beach safe program started in 1981 when members of Elouera SLSC, Robert Chapman an Australian surf lifesaving champion, and Basil Lewis a fellow club member, set about designing a concept which has become an award winning program now entering its 36th year.

Originally sponsored by Otis Elevator Company, the first clinic started its humble beginnings in January 1982 with 104 participants and over the years numbers had grown to more than 600 children, not only from the shire and St George areas, but spreading across the greater metropolitan Sydney and beyond.

Since the inaugural clinic in 1982 there have been more than 12,000 participants.

With alterations to the Elouera Surf Club, the clinic is now capped to a maximum of 450 participants.

Each year more than 100 qualified lifesavers from Elouera SLSC join with a number of Tradies directors who volunteer their time over the week to carry out the daily programs for children to be better educated when going to any beach.

This unique five day program is designed specifically for age groups from 7 to 12 years, covering both practical and theory sessions which are under the control of qualified life-saving instructors and presenters.

Each child must be able to prove that they can competently swim 50 metres, with a swim test being carried out at Caringbah Leisure Centre on January 5.

The program covers: surf danger recognition by identifying wave types, rips and currents; basic theory and demonstration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) first aid; personal skin protection; how to body surf, paddle and ride both body boards and nipper size surfboards; the roles of council lifeguards and surf life-saving patrols.

Each age category has a manager, with a working with children authority, who remain throughout each session of the week.

In 1996 Gymea Tradies began supporting the clinics and has now been a partner for 20 years.

  • Details: or phone 9523 7295.