Nip­pers re­turn from state ti­tles for break

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - DONNA-MARIE MILNE

AF­TER a gru­elling but suc­cess­ful three day state cham­pi­onship car­ni­val, seven Port Dou­glas Nip­pers have earned them­selves a well-de­served break.

The young­sters earned a place in the pres­ti­gious ju­nior life­sav­ing com­pe­ti­tion, held be­tween March 9 and 11 at the Ma­roochy­dore Life sav­ing club, com­pet­ing along­side 40 other FNQ team mem­bers.

Lo­cal kids, Mia Devine-cameron and Mitchell Knight (Un­der-11s) Harry Good­man (Un­der-12s), Al­li­son Munro, Eliza Marhkam, Si­mon Kramer and Finn Devine-cameron (Un­der-13s), rep­re­sented the five North Queens­land clubs in this year’s blue-rib­bon Sun­shine Coast event.

More than 1500 ju­nior life­savers com­peted, with the best tal­ent from all around the state com­pet­ing head to head in over 80 events in­clud­ing Iron­man/woman, beach flags, beach re­lay, beach sprints, surf teams and surf boards.

“We had great weather, and all our kids per­formed re­ally well es­pe­cially as they haven’t been in the surf or com­peted for five months,” Port Dou­glas Nip­pers pres­i­dent and FNQ team man­ager Brian Markham said.

“We are at a dis­ad­van­tage to the south­ern clubs as they are in the midst of their sea­son, ours runs from May to Oc­to­ber. It’s hard for the kids to de­velop when they aren’t in com­pe­ti­tion, as that’s when they im­prove the most.

“De­spite that, the kids did tremen­dously and we’re re­ally proud of their ded­i­ca­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion. We’ve been train­ing in lo­cal fresh water creeks and swim­ming pools to com­pen­sate for not be­ing able to use the surf.”

The club will now break un­til May when the 2012 sea­son starts, cul­mi­nat­ing in the Mackay North Aus­tralian cham­pi­onships held at the end of Oc­to­ber.

“Our first ma­jor car­ni­val will be held in July at Mis­sion Beach, so we’ll be straight into train­ing hard for that,” Brian said.

“For now, the kids can have a hard-earned break. We took them to Dream­world af­ter the State Cham­pi­onships as a re­ward, it al­lowed them to play with­out re­stric­tion - do their own thing, be free and have fun.”

The club will wel­come new mem­bers with a sign-on day to be held on Sun­day April 29th be­fore the new sea­son.

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