North Coast Lifesavers Preparing For State Champs

A small but dedicated group of junior lifesavers from across the North Coast are preparing to put their skills to the test at the NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships which 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.

Five clubs will be represented with Coffs Harbour SLSC, Sawtell, Urunga, Bellinger Valley – North Beach and Woolgoolga all sending competitors. Coffs will be fielding the most sending an 18-strong team.

Woolgoolga’s William Gromadzki stunned the competition last year when he claimed gold in the U11 Beach Sprint after deciding to enter during a delay in the water events; he won’t have the element of surprise this time round, but will be hopeful of adding to that success.

Another defending medallist is Olissa Onley (Coffs Harbour) who finished with two silvers and a bronze medal in the U11 water events in 2015.

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

Mon 29 Feb 2016