Coast Lifesavers Looking For Home Advantage

The Central Coast will be well represented on their home turf by hundreds of eager young lifesavers when the NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships get underway at Ocean Beach – Umina later this week.

From Friday, almost 3000 competitors aged between 9 and 14 from all around NSW will hit the waves as they battle it out in events including Beach Sprint, Swimming, Ski Paddling, Board Racing and Ironman.

It promises to be a barnstorming three days of competition as the best young lifesavers vie for medals and the chance to write their names into the history of the largest surf carnival of its type in Australia.

2016 is the fourth year in succession that Ocean Beach – Umina have hosted this event, which has generated almost $10 million in stimulus for the local economy over each year with the event also being strongly supported by Gosford City Council.

With the Championships moving to a new venue next season the youngsters from the Central Coast will be hoping to use their knowledge of the familiar waters to propel them to glory.

Fifteen Central Coast clubs have entered over 500 competitors for the Championships.

Avoca Beach SLSC who finished third in the overall point score behind powerhouses Manly and Wanda will be quietly confident that their 93-strong team will be able to keep the pressure on their rivals.

Terrigal SLSC and hosts Umina have also entered strong teams fielding 90 and 87 competitors respectively.

The battle to be crowned the top Central Coast club will certainly generate plenty of interest as the recent Branch Championships was a closely fought affair.

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon expects that the 2016 State Champs will be a memorable experience for all the athletes, officials, volunteers, and spectators who make the trip.

“The State Championships are always eagerly anticipated by our young members who will be looking forward to testing themselves against the best competitors from around the state in a diverse range of events,” Mr Pidgeon said.

“They will also get to experience firsthand the comradery that lifesaving is famous for, and this will hopefully encourage them to stay involved in lifesaving. Many of our long-serving members still look back fondly at their time competing at the State Champs and other surf carnivals, and all of the current competitors will be looking to add to this rich history.

The 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving State Age Championships, proudly supported by ClubsNSW takes place over three exciting days at Ocean Beach – Umina from this Friday 4 March

Photograph - Umina's Lachlan Braddish is among a host of Central Coast athletes looking to shine in familiar territory. Credit Stephen Chu

Mon 29 Feb 2016