Nippers in state title
SEVEN Nippers from the Port Douglas Surf Lifesaving Club headed off yesterday to the state championships in Maroochydore with the dream of making the Queensland team.
Mia Devine-cameron and Mitchell Knight (Under-11), Harry Goodman (Under12), Allison Munro, Eliza Markham, Simon Kramer and Finn Devine-cameron (Under13) will be part of the 47-strong North Queensland Branch team representing the five Far North Queensland clubs from Etty Bay, Mission Beach, Ellis Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas.
Teams from the length of the Queensland coast will be competing at the championships which run for three days from Friday.
The North Queensland clubs are the only ones in the state that have a winter season for competition and training because of the stingers and are always at a disadvantage compared to their southern competitors.
“We are competing out of season so we have to train in the pool and we do a little board training at the ski park at Smithfield,” Port Douglas club president and team manager Brian Markham said.
“Our kids up here are known as all-rounders, we don’t specialise at this age like some of the southern clubs.”
Over the three-day event, the Nippers will compete in flags, sprints, board and swim events with up to 100 competitors in each event spread over seven or eight heats.
“Last year one of our kids was chosen as competitor of the carnival, which we were pretty proud of,” Markham said.
“The southern clubs are very competitive with a lot of money involved but up here it’s still fun for us and as long as the kids have a good time and try hard that’s okay.”
Markham said the local competition between the Nippers to make the team was pretty hot because they know going to the championships is a great trip.
The team will be visiting Dreamworld on the way back to Brisbane for some fun and games before flying back home.
High hopes: Mitchell Knight, Eliza Markham, Simon Kramer, Alison Munro, Mia Devine-cameron and Harry Goodman