Country Champs Countdown Enters Final Month

With the festivities of the Christmas and New Year period slowly winding down, excitement continues to build for hundreds of surf lifesavers with the 2016 Stramit Country Championships now only a month away.

The action returns to the state’s idyllic Mid North Coast after a two-year absence, with hosts South West Rocks SLSC looking forward to hosting country surf lifesaving’s biggest event for the first time since 2013.

“We're excited to be hosting the Country Championships for the next two seasons. We ran a successful event for four years, we know what we’re doing and we’ve got fantastic support from the local community,” said South West Rocks Club President Rod McDonagh.

The 2016 edition will also herald in a number of changes to the popular event with it being condensed into a two-day format as well as being held later in the summer to avoid peak-season. A total of around 4000 people including 1500 competitors are expected to flock to the town for the duration of the championships.

This will be a huge boon for the local economy with an analysis by Tourism Australia suggesting that around $3 million dollars could be generated over the weekend as well as helping the area boost its “sports tourism” profile.

“I am delighted to see the NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships back at South West Rocks in 2016 and 2017. I would like to congratulate Stramit for their support of this event and South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club for their dedication and hard work to help secure the Country Championships at South West Rocks,” said Kempsey Shire Council Mayor Liz Campbell.

“This event is a great fit for the Macleay as it reveals what great beaches and coastline we have for professional sporting events. Events like the Country Championships provide a critical injection into our local economy and boost our profile as a sports tourism destination.”

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon is anticipating a keenly fought competition. “The Country Championships are a high point on the calendar for many of our lifesavers from the non-metropolitan areas. It’s a great opportunity to engage in competition and renew friendships, many which have stretched back years.

“With a month to go until competition gets underway I am sure that all the competitors are training hard and we’re very much looking forward to a high quality competition in South West Rocks,” Mr Pidgeon said.

The Stramit NSW Country Championships is the only event on the surf sport calendar to feature a full range of events including surfboats, as well as all age groups from U8s through to Masters, within a two-day surf carnival.

It will be held at South West Rocks SLSC from February 6 – 7 2016.

Wed 6 Jan 2016