Waves test the juniors
Five clubs from Mission Beach to Port Douglas contributed 60 competitors for the team called North Queensland that competed in Youth Surf Lifesaving Championships held down at North Burleigh, in very challenging conditions.
Port Douglas had its best representation yet with nine competitors heading down but unfortunately our 10th competitor, Jacob Booij, did not make the trip as he had an injured knee.
Not only were the waves large and breaking a long way out, but they were constant. Fortunately thanks to months of training, our kids were very fit.
They needed to be as it took a huge effort just to get out to the marker cans. They then had to contend with the large surf coming in.
They never gave up and performed admirably in conditions that they have never experienced before. It was awesome to see and it didn’t matter if you were from Port Douglas or Currumbin, Ellis Beach or Northcliff, each and every nipper had to put in all they had to combat those con- ditions. Jonte Revell was our youngest competitor in under 11s. We then had Sophie Knight, Oliver Lukin, Kade Bickford and Murray Colbridge in the under 12s. Under 15s had a strong representation as well with Mia Devine-Cameron, Tara Buls, Josh Lukin, Moses Hannet-Wade and Mitchell Knight.
With around 1800 competitors down there it was great to see all of these kids performing well. Some made it to the quarter finals, some to semis, some to finals and Sophie Knight even managed to gain a bronze medal in the under 12 surf teams.
We are a bit different in that we get our kids to perform all the events. Most competitors from down south specialize in one discipline only whether it is sprints, boards or flags. Our kids give everything a red hot go and as such probably do an awful lot more work than most down there. Some of the great memories from this year’s event included Josh Lukin getting pounded by wave after wave after wave.
Trying to push through even though he was dead last. Finally he gets through to surge past a heap of kids to come in ninth! His brother, Oliver got 2nd in the board semi-final standing there on the finish line between two kids twice his size.
Moses scored his best ever time in the 2km and run and after five years of trying, Mitchell Knight finally got his first flag. It’s these moments that are special.
Every one of these young athletes deserve a huge pat on the back for representing themselves, and our region, so impressively.
Northern Qld team members had to contend with rougher seas down south