Sandon Point hosts successful Junior Branch Championships

Tight race: Nippers emerge from the water at the Illawarra Branch Championships on Saturday. Picture: Doug Hamill.
Tight race: Nippers emerge from the water at the Illawarra Branch Championships on Saturday. Picture: Doug Hamill.

Sandon Point has hosted a successful Junior Branch Championships on Saturday.

The competition marked the first time the club has hosted the meet individually and Sandon Point’s surf sports manager Doug Hamill labelled the day a roaring success.

“It was such a good day,” Hamill said. “Everything ran smoothly, the weather was perfect, the tides were perfect.

“We had invaluable contributions from a lot of people, including our members and parents to make it a success. We want to thank the Branch for having confidence in us and awarding us the carnival, hopefully we’ll have more here in the next few years.”

The hosting of the championships comes as the club attempts to build its competitive base and provide more opportunities for junior athletes to compete in the sport of surf lifesaving. To Hamill, the results of this renewed effort are clear. 

“We’re super keen to grow the competitive side of our club. We have a keen group of parents wanting to bring their kids through. Carnivals like this are invaluable, competing on their home beach, it gives our kids the confidence to go and compete in other areas.

”At the Sydney Water carnival we only had three or four kids competing, last weekend we had 46. 

“From that we had kids qualified for team events and state championships, so now we’ve got parents that are interested in going to that. 

“In previous years we’ve had one or two competitors, now we have multiple families going up.”

Kevin Starling from Surf Lifesaving Illawarra praised the club for the efficient way they hosted their first individual Branch Championships. 

“Sandon Point did very well,” Starling said. “They’re keen to host the carnival again next year, they ran a very well organised event and we appreciate the effort they put into it.”

The next major competition for nippers is the State Championships, held at Blacksmiths Beach on the Central Coast. The competition will be contested on the first weekend of March. 

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