The biggest surf sport event in NSW will soon return to Lake Macquarie for a second straight summer with locals hoping for an economic windfall as hot as the expected competition.
Almost 20,000 visitors will descend on Swansea’s picturesque Blacksmiths Beach over the coming weeks as competition in the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships kicks off.
The event begins this weekend with the traditional Lifesaving Events where participants use their experience and knowledge of the skills required to be a surf lifesaver and apply them to both a theory and practical test.
Young Nipper athletes, Masters and Open competitors from across the state are also eagerly awaiting their turn for the action to begin as they race for glory, medals, and the chance to be crowned NSW Champion.
But it’s off the beach where the event is set to have a major impact, particularly in the highly competitive sports-tourism market.
“The State Championships create a tremendous buzz for the host town and local government area, further to this they also generate significant economic benefits, adding millions of dollars to the local economy,” said Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser.
“Lake Macquarie City Council and Dantia, our economic development partner, are proud to be supporting Swansea Belmont Surf Life Saving Club to bring the State Championships back to the City for a second straight year. As a community we pride ourselves on our hospitality and the Championships gives visitors the rare chance to explore far beyond the beach,” she said.
For the fifth year in a row ClubsNSW will be supporting the event under the Your local club brand, which provides much needed support and encourages all athletes to give their best.
“Our partnership with Surf Life Saving NSW continues to strengthen because both our organisations are passionate advocates for sport at a grassroots level,” said ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball.
“We believe sport brings communities together and builds confidence and resilience in young people.
“Registered clubs have been supporting surf lifesaving for over 100 years, and that support will be on display throughout these championships.”
An event of this scale wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of the host club, and in club President Graham Burge and his team, Swansea Belmont have an energetic group dedicated to making the Championships the best experience it can be for everyone involved.
“It was fantastic to welcome all our friends from across NSW to Blacksmiths last season after a 7 year absence. While Mother Nature wasn’t always on our side, the event was fiercely competitive and a great example of all that Surf Life Saving has to offer, and we’re very much looking forward to a successful competition,” said Graham Burge.
The 2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships proudly supported by Your local club will be held at Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea from February 24 – 11 March.
Thursday 22 February 2018