Both junior and senior surf athletes from the Pambula Surf Life Saving Club demonstrated their talent across a variety of beach and water disciplines at the 2014 Stramit NSW Country Championships held recently at Mollymook Beach.
The Country Championships is major coup for the Far South Coast with in excess of 1600 competitors taking part in three days of events.
“This is the first time in a long while that an event as significant as the country championships have been so close to home,” junior lifesaver development coordinator Simone Shaw said.
“Being within easy travelling distance provided an incentive for a big push to be well represented at the championships,” surf sports development coordinator Andrew Holt said.
“It was great to be able to participate and enjoy the experience of a large-scale surf life saving event” he said.
“Pambula fielded a very competitive contingent for a small club this year.
“There were a number of competitors who had participated in a regular training program over recent months and “their commitment paid off.”
Competitors from Pambula made the finals in many of the beach and surf events.
“Making finals at the event, particularly in the water, was a major achievement in itself as the quality of the competitors from the North Coast was very strong and their teams were large,” Holt said.
The representation from the North of the state reflected larger populations and a warmer water temperature, with the northern teams training year round.
There were many standout performances for Pambula.
Young competitor, Nate Woods was awarded a silver medal in flags and a bronze medal in the sprints.
Harry Fergusson won a silver medal in the surfing event and Jake Shaw was awarded a silver medal in the under 12s beach sprints.
Grace Knox also performed well bringing home a bronze medal for the rescue event and placing fourth in the final of the beach sprints.
In the under 9s, Kai Holt placed fourth in the finals of the surf race.
In the Senior Divisions, Simone Shaw won gold in the 40-49 beach sprints and Suzie Hides brought home bronze in the 40-49 beach sprints and flag events.
Dominic Hides and Kym O’Halloran both placed fourth in the finals of the 40-49 men’s and women’s surf ski respectively.
Utilising the solid groundwork laid for the Country Titles, Pambula competitors also performed strongly at the Narooma Senior Carnival last Saturday.
Holt, who took nine competitors to the event said “The turnout for the under 15s to under 19s was fantastic”.
“Despite strong winds and gnarly conditions, there were lots of firsts, seconds and thirds across all events for Pambula.”
Meanwhile, on the home front, Special Nippers kicked off to a great start at Pambula Beach on Saturday with an impressive attendance of participants and volunteers.
“It is important that we have a good ratio of volunteers to Nippers,” special Nippers coordinator Michele Bootes said.
“I was very happy to be able to support our growing contingent of Special Nippers with increases in volunteer numbers.”
Special Nippers is a fantastic opportunity for children and adults with special needs to experience a sporting environment where they have the support and care required for a successful outcome.
Organisers were delighted with the day saying: “If the happy faces of volunteers and participants on the weekend were any indication, then success was a no-brainer”.