Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Clubs is the largest Surf Life Saving Club in the Bay of Plenty. Our membership base exceeds 700 financial members including competitors, patrolling members, people involved with sponsorship, junior surf and other ‘non’-active affiliates. Every year thousands of people come down to Omanu Beach and are kept safe by the service the club provides. This service would not be possible without the full support of both volunteers and sponsors to keep our beaches safe every summer.
Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 1947 as a result of the strong growth in holiday makers coming to the region and surrounding areas. We have one of the largest number of members in NZ, and the largest junior surf programme with over 400 junior members.
History of the Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club
Omanu Beach Surf lifesaving club started out in 1947 as the Omanu Pacific Surf Lifesaving club. It was later renamed to Omanu Papamoa SLSC. The club colours during these times were black and gold. In 1990, as a result of the strong population growth in Papamoa and Papamoa East, Omanu Papamoa split its assets and helped to establish the Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club. Many of the Papamoa based Omanu lifeguards then moved to the newly established surf club.
In 2002 it was decided that the old club would not cater for the membership growth that was occurring at the time and expected growth in the coming years. A group of enthusiastic clubbies embarked on a challenge to build a new club on the old site. During the summer of 2005/2006 all patrolling was carried out in the mighty yellow submarine, a very small yellow caravan located in front of the construction site. In late 2006 construction was completed and we had a brand new club with all the bells and whistles as it stands today. Over the years the club seen a number a changes to its membership base growing from just 18 to 800.
Omanu Beach SLSC now has the largest Junior Surf program in New Zealand with approximately 450 nippers – over 40% larger than any other in New Zealand. This program is both the strength and the future of the club. Interestingly, our brothers down the road (Papamoa) have the second largest Junior surf Program.
Omanu Beach SLSC has always been a family orientated club who prides itself in providing a caring and nurturing environment for youths to develop. We have many third generation members who are now bringing their families up in this same environment as they enjoyed.
Although not the core business of the club, competition (Surf Sport) is now a major part of our operations. Without competition, it would be difficult to retain our younger members and patrol the beach. Our club performs consistently well in competitions and we have regular training sessions to keep our members fit and competition ready.