Over 800 competitors from 45 clubs gathered for the Under 14 Surf Lifesaving Championships at Ōrewa over the weekend.

Competitor Piere Kawharu says it is one of the biggest events in the Surf Life Saving New Zealand sports calendar.

“Me haere ana tātou ki tēnei, ki Ōrewa hei mahi poari mō te Surf Life Saving. Āe, he whakataetae nui, tēnei ki ahau hoki. Ko te beach flags, ko te beach sprints, run swim run, tube rescue. Ko tērā ko tētahi mea ka kaukau ahau ki waho o te moana, ka haramai tōku nei kaiāwhina, tōku nei rescuer. Ka rescue ai i ahau ka hoki. He pai pai rawa ahau ki tērā tūmomo reihi.”

Under-12’s competitor Colwyn Cations-Velvin from Taranaki Fitzroy Club says it’s all about giving it a go.

"Just getting out there being in the waves having fun playing with my friends. Dad just cheers me on, Mum just screams her lungs off. She's like go!”

Colwyn’s mother, Chanon Cations-Velvin says it's the competition is there help establish great relationships.

“It's very much a whānau feeling so everyone in the surf club is supportive they put a lot mahi and time and energy and fundraising to really encourage the children.”

For 45 years, Malcolm Heke has been involved Surf Life Saving and says it’s great for the spirit.

“Actually it's not a job; I take it as a pleasure to try and get the young ones from the ages of 11 to 19 up and running, dance moves, sing songs while we are waiting to go on to the beach. Things like that.”

Colwyn’s father, Todd Cations-Velvin says it’s a sport that can encourage all members of the family to get involved.

“I'd definitely say for the parent and fathers to get involved once you see your kids do it, I think maybe you should get in the pool. It's never too old to get out there and have a crack yourself and do your lifeguard award.”

So to all you kids out there, give it a go.