Far North Coast Junior Lifesavers Are State Bound

A committed group of junior lifesavers from across the Far North Coast will take on the best surf athletes NSW has to offer when the NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships get underway on the Central Coast later this week.

From Friday, almost 3000 competitors aged between 9 and 14 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.

Almost 40 representatives from 7 Far North Coast clubs will make the trip south.

Byron Bay SLSC and Cudgen Headland SLSC will be fielding the largest teams with 10 and 18 competitors respectively, while Lennox Head, Yamba, Brunswick, Cabarita Beach, and Ballina SLSC will all be fielding teams.

The State Champs will be a highlight of the competitive season for these youngsters, many who are full of confidence after a highly successful Country Championships campaign at South West Rocks last month.

Among those who will make the trip are Hayley Smith (Cudgen Headland) who won silver in the U13 Board in 2013, and Tex Hembrow and Leilani Carter both of Byron Bay who are also hoping to come home with medals again this season.

Other athletes to watch out for are Paige Leishman (Byron Bay) who enjoyed a highly successful time at Country Championships, and will be lining up in the U14s, Joey and Elizabeth Warne (Cudgen Headland) and Jorden, Malik and Yasmin Elabbasi, and Kalani Ives all from Yamba SLSC.

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 - Tex Hembrow (Byron Bay enjoyed success at last year's State Titles, and will be hoping for a repeat effort in 2016. Credit Stephen Chu

Mon 29 Feb 2016