Illawarra Juniors Seeking NSW Glory

Over 100 of the best young lifesavers from the Illawarra will be gunning for medals and personal bests when the NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships get underway at Ocean Beach-Umina on the state’s Central Coast 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.

Traditional Illawarra powerhouses Bulli SLSC and Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC will field the largest teams in term of competitor size, but 13 clubs in total will be sending athletes.

A number of local athletes have enjoyed a successful summer in the Sydney Water Series and at Branch Championships, and with the younger competitors still being several years away from competing at the Australian Titles, they will be hoping that this success translates onto the biggest stage of all.

Some of those who will be out to impress include Gabby Eaton (North Wollongong SLSC), Lola, Rani and Joe Sossai (Towradgi SLSC), and Samuel Zustovic (Helensburg-Stanwell Park 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

Photgraph - Sam Zustovich in action at the 2015 SLSNSW State Champs. Credit Stephen Chu

Mon 29 Feb 2016