DHL Lifesaving South African Championships makes a long-awaited return to Nelson Mandela Bay.

The DHL Lifesaving South Africa National Championships makes a long-awaited and welcome return after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the 2020 edition to be cancelled just days before the annual event was set to take place at Kings Beach in Gqberha, Nelson Mandela Bay.

Gqberha, home of action and adventure sports, will for the third successive year play host to the very best of South Africa’s lifesaving talent. The DHL South African Lifesaving National Championships is one of the biggest sporting events on the Nelson Mandela Bay calendar with usually over 1 700 competitors from 40 national clubs competing in more than 500 events over the week, making it South Africa’s ‘Olympics’ of the lifesaving community.

This year, the eight-day event, set to take place from 2-9 October, will be the first time that athletes from around country will compete against each other and while some of the old favourites will be missing, several new Seniors and Juniors will be out to cause a few upsets.

While South Africa’s finest lifesavers battle it out for top honours in the Seniors and Juniors division in the Surf competition, the popular Nippers’ competition will start their events at Newton Park Swimming Pool.

The top athletes will also have the added incentive of competing for international selection, which includes World Champs to be held next year in Italy. The recently announced Protea team who have been selected for the ILS Africa Championship in Egypt in December 2021will see the competition as a good training platform as they compete for their individual clubs.

Another exciting feature of the DHL Lifesaving National Championships is the Wimpy Surf Boat Shoot Out, which has grown in popularity since the first Shoot Out was introduced in 2017. Surf Boat racing is a hugely exciting aspect of surf lifesaving and hard to beat when it comes to thrill-a-minute action.

 This year breaks new ground in the Surf Boat Shootout, as it will be the first time that the ladies’ crews will be competing against each other in their own division. Previously, the shootout had mixed crews of men and women fighting it out for top honours.

Sadly, this year there will be no spectators allowed to attend the venues due to strict covid protocols and regulations, however lots of planning has gone in to ensure a successful event for all the competitors and all the results and highlights will be broadcast over several platforms. The LSA Federation’s executives Craig van Rooyen (LSA Director of Sport) and Helen Herbert (LSA General Manager) together with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality; and Lifesaving SA’s sponsors and partners, DHL, Wimpy, Treble Group and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA, collectively have worked tirelessly to ensure that all the championship events – both surf and pool –can go ahead safely.


It is with great excitement that Lifesaving South Africa welcomes all our athletes, team management, officials, supporters, parents  sponsors and our host city officials Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. It seems almost an eternity of waiting but finally the 2021 week long edition of the  #DHLLifesaving National Championships is here. It is extremely exciting to see well over 1100 athletes who have travelled to compete and they will be officiated by over 100 technical officials and 40 water safety officers. Our National Champs certainly ranks as one of the bigger aquatic sports events in the 2021 sports calendar.

The Local Organizing Committee  under the leadership of our Director of Sport, Craig van Rooyen,  and the LEC Chairman Earl Ingram with their respective event management teams has ensured that the organisation has gone off well and they have ensured that the event entails safety protocols of the highest order even if means keeping spectators away. We acknowledge  the role played by the club coaches and managers who took their club athletes though  rigorous training throughout the winter months to ensure exceptional preparation  for the Champs. It is encouraging to see the large number of Protea athletes participating in 2021 National Champs and we look forward to the LSA Protea Team that will represent South Africa at the prestigious African Champs to be held in Egypt in early December 2021 as well as World Champs in Italy in 2022.  The winter training  would have prepared out athletes well for the testing  weather conditions  during the opening weekend of events. A highlight will certainly be the Boaties shootout with a substantial prize money up for grabs. 

Lifesaving South Africa is greatly appreciative of the partnership and support from our corporate and governmental sponsors, namely,  DHL, Wimpy , General Tire , Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, Department of Sports , Arts and Culture and last but not least, The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality who have graciously hosted and funded the National Champs for the third year in a row. 

On behalf of the Management Board of Lifesaving South Africa , I wish all athletes and officials the best for a successful and competitive 2021 #DHLLifesaving national Champs and urge all to stay safe!

President Lifesaving South Africa


Port Elizabeth is a fascinating and significantly historical city that has always enjoyed its reputation as a laid-back seaside town. Here are some fascinating facts about “The Bay”:

  • Port Elizabeth is known as The Friendly City, The Windy City, Sport Elizabeth, Ibhayi, Nelson Mandela Bay, The 10-minute City (since everything is supposedly within a 10-minute drive) and Algoa Bay.
  • PE has a tropical coastal climate, making it relatively consistent throughout the year. The breeze off the sea keeps temperatures down significantly.
  • PE has hosted the Lifesaving South African National Championships in 2018 and 2019 and returns for 2020.
  • The global Iron Man™ competition is hosted by Port Elizabeth every year in April. This draws thousands of sportsmen and women from around the world, as well as spectators.
  • Port Elizabeth is the largest and most densely populated of the three towns comprising Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • PE is well known for its stunning beaches, which stretch for some 40 kilometres along the coast. Kings Beach will host the 2020 Wimpy Lifesaving South Africa National Championships. Kings Beach has Blue Flag status.
  • PE was one of the Host Cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and had to have a stadium built especially for this event.
  • Famous sportsmen that were born in PE include Wayne Parnell (South African cricketer), Schalk Burger (Springbok rugby player), Robin Peterson (South African cricketer) and Ashwell Prince (South African cricketer).
  • PE folk are known as Port Elizabethans.
  • The telephone area code is 041.
  • Port Elizabeth is situated approximately halfway between Durban and Cape Town making it the ideal location to host National Champs.



The Kings Beach Lifesaving Club and Seagulls Lifesaving Club would like to extend a warm welcome to the lifesaving competitors, family and officials to our beautiful city and most of all our wonderful beach and amazing Newton Park Pool.

We look forward to hosting you and ensuring you have a wonderful competition ahead and enjoy the facilities we offer. To have a well-run event, we encourage all managers, coaches, parents etc. to comply with all regulations and compliance as set out by Government and LSA.


All persons entering the club and pool will have to comply with all screening procedures required by LSA and the municipality. The club will be limited to number of persons as guided by Government and regulations in place.

ONLY competitors, registered coaches,  managers, covid officers, safeguarding officers, staff and officials will be allowed to enter the competition arena from the club. These persons are issued an access tag as well as screening tag, please do not try entering the competition arena if not unauthorized to do so, as this will jeopardize the event, and we run the risk of being shut down. All persons on the beach need to keep 25m away from the fence line and it is essential that everyone complies with the security services on site.

ONLY pool competitors competing in their current event, officials and pool staff will be allowed on the pool deck. Unfortunately no spectators will be allowed in the pool as per COVID regulations.


Food and Beverage at the Pool

The pool tuck-shop will be run by popular Continental Butchery and Deli. No tickets will be sold at the pool. Card or cash will be accepted at the tuck shop.

Lunch will only be available via pre order done via EFT but the tuck shop will be open for other meal choices.

Clubs are encouraged to pre order lunch pack meals (order form attached ) there are 5 main meal options available daily, each option is packaged together with a savory snack, sweet snack and a fresh fruit. These are pre ordered, made fresh daily, packaged and boxed for club managers to collect from the Tuck-shop daily at lunch time.

We encourage everyone to make use of this option to avoid large gatherings at the Tuck-shop and delays in the program.

The Tuck-shop will also be open from 7 AM to close of competition daily with a limited menu.

TICKETING: Lifesaving SA Champs is a cashless zone. Kings Beach will have a ticket office selling booklets of tickets which will be redeemable for food and beverage throughout the event. The bar and kitchen will not accept any cash – Tickets only. The booklets are available in values of R100 and made up of 4 x R5 , 4 x R10 and 2 x R20 tickets. There will be a card machine on site and cash is also acceptable only at the ticket office.

Clubs are advised to pre purchase tickets, these will be available for clubs to collect on arrival. Please contact and for banking details and send POP to them once payment has been made.

Clubs are required to pre order lunch pack meals via the order form which can be completed and sent electronically. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

There are 4 main meal options available daily, each option is packaged together with a savory snack, sweet snack, and a fresh fruit. All meals are made fresh daily, packaged and boxed for club managers to collect from our kitchen at lunch time and can be eaten in the tents on the beach. We encourage everyone to make use of this option to avoid large gatherings at the club and delays in the program. The Kings Beach Café will offer a limited menu including our very popular evening premade heat and eat meals for takeaway or onsite consumption. CLICK HERE FOR THE MENU

Club facilities and the Kings Beach Café will be open from 7 am till close of competition and food and beverages are available throughout the day for the number of persons allowed within the premises.

Please support our club and facilities as it plays an important role in hosting such large events.

Should your club like to book a braai evening limited to 50 PAX please contact Craig for enquiries.

Details of catering at the pool will be advised shortly

Clubs will not be allowed to park on the beach this year but have an allocated space on the grassed area near the entrance of the club, trailers can be left overnight (with craft on) as there will be designated security in the area 24/7 from the 2 Oct to 9 Oct 2021.

Tents are allocated according to layout and sizes by the suppliers. Tents will be clearly marked with club name on arrival.

Please ensure all bags and belongings are not packed against the rear tent wall for safety, as Lifesaving SA and Kings Beach cannot be held liable for any missing items.

There will be bins placed between tents, please keep the lids closed and ensure all rubbish is out of the tent each evening to keep our environment clean.

Please be aware that there is a full moon on 6 October and we will be experiencing very high tides throughout the week of the competition. As you know lifesaving is a sport on a natural playground

and we need to accept there are environmental changes and conditions that take place and unfortunately a chance of the beach taking on water during the competition. To ensure the safety of your craft, we request craft gets packed onto trailers or allocated areas after the last event as we cannot be held responsible for lost or damaged craft that are left on the beach. Note as always the program is subjected to change due to circumstances beyond our control.

Please ensure that all clubs comply with supplying water safety officers for the nipper events as required by LSA. Clubs are required to provide 1 officer to 10 nippers, this is to ensure the safety of all nippers in the surf. We have a fantastic team of local water safety, skippers and water managers, please play your part and comply.

We have 24/7 hour security on the beach, at the club and at the trailer parking area. Please note that all items left in cars and any bags left on the beach is at your own risk.

No persons are allowed on the sand dunes as per regulation by national environmental departments and local beach office, note that a R1000 fine will be imposed for anyone that does not adhere to this.

The ablutions are located just outside the main entrance to the club and has a separate entrance for competitors. There is security in place, however please ensure that chaperones and managers accompany younger members to the bathrooms should they require.

Our metro is experiencing water restrictions as our local dams are far below 12 % capacity, please use water sparingly and no washing of craft with fresh water.




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