Southern Lifesavers Primed For State Champs

A small but committed team of junior lifesavers from the South Coast and Far South Coast Branches are gearing up to take on challenge of the 2016 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.

In total there will be 43 competitors from 5 South Coast clubs with Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC and Kiama Downs SLSC contributing the bulk of these athletes. A further four youngsters from Broulee Surfers, Batemans Bay SLSC and Narooma SLSC will also make the long trip.

One athlete out to continue his good form this season is Warilla’s Jayden Allen who has enjoyed solid success at the Branch Championships and at last month’s Country Championships in South West Rocks.

Club mate Bree Hlis picked up a silver medal in the U10 surf race in 2015, and will be hoping to go one better this time round.

Nowra-Culburra’s Holly Abbey has made a habit of winning beach medals, picking up a gold and a bronze at last year’s State Titles, and will hoping all her hard training pays off when she takes to the beach track.

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

Photogrpah - Holly Abbey has consistently proved to be among the top beach runners of her age group. Can she do it again in 2016? Credit Stephen Chu.

Mon 29 Feb 2016