"Our junior nippers have been training hard throughout the year and we have a very enthusiastic group of volunteer coaches, officials and team managers," says David Pavia, Ocean Grove SLSC President. "Head coach Sonia Kinsey has the nippers training on Sunday's in the pool from August. So, this is a great result and recognition of everyone's hard work."
"It's the first time in recent history our Juniors have won the State Champs title, so they are very proud of themselves and so they should be!" says Darren Ball, Ocean Grove SLSC Junior Activities Manager. "It was a great effort across all ages from U9 through to U14 and our team events were brilliant for us. It's very exciting to see the effort the kids are putting in and how it pays off. They beat their own expectations and had the smiles to show it!"
"Both days of the competition were very different in terms of beach conditions and weather," says Kirsty Clark, Life Saving Victoria’s Sports Coordinator. "So, everyone had a chance to experience their ideal, and not-so-ideal conditions. It's a credit to all at Ocean Grove SLSC that they were able to take first place."
The March Past event was won by Chelsea Longbeach LSC A Team, with second place going to Torquay SLSC Blue & Gold Team and third place to Williamstown Swimming and LSC A Team.
The March Past is an iconic event within the surf lifesaving movement. It has been part of surf carnivals since the earliest days as an example of the significant impact returned servicemen had on the development of surf lifesaving and competition in the early days.
The LSV Junior State Championship event is able to be put on thanks to the generous support of major event sponsor Engine, as well as Surf Life Saving Australia sponsor's Westpac, DHL and Holden.
"None of it would be possible without dedicated volunteers, especially from the host club Warrnambool SLSC supported by the Warrnambool City Council, who have been fantastic," says Ms Clark. "Well done to everyone for another successful event!"
More than 1400 junior lifesavers from 36 clubs travelled to Victoria’s south west coast to compete in the two-day event, hosted for the fifth year in a row by Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club. The event attracted more than 2000 spectators.