Top re­sult for small keen ju­nior team

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ti­tahi Bay Surf Life Sav­ing Club had one of the small­est teams at the re­cent un­der 14 na­tion­als but they pro­duced one of their best ever over­all re­sults.

The Oceans 13 event, held at Mt Maun­ganui, was a chal­lenge due to the big surf, Ti­tahi Bay’s ju­nior surf co-or­di­na­tor Peter Jones says. The eight-mem­ber Ti­tahi Bay team packed in events over four days, com­pet­ing in ev­ery­thing from tube res­cues to beach sprints and board races.

Caitlin Clarke was a stand­out, tak­ing a bronze in the un­der-12 run-swim-run and sil­ver in the un­der-12 surf race. Jones says it is just the sec­ond and third medal at the na­tion­als for Ti­tahi Bay in 13 years and it placed them 18th of 40 teams.

‘‘The kids thor­oughly en­joyed them­selves. It was a great team ef­fort and they were all bet­ter for the ex­pe­ri­ence, with Caitlin’s medals be­ing the ic­ing on the cake. It all comes down to the par­ents at the club, who fundraised to get th­ese guys to Mt Maun­ganui.’’

The ju­niors have a new gear trailer and boards, high­light­ing the pos­i­tive mood at the club. Fund­ing from Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion and sup­port from In­fin­ity and New Zealand Com­mu­nity Trust have been cru­cial, Jones says.

Some of the ju­niors are likely to fea­ture at the Cap­i­tal Coast Awards func­tion in May.

Jones hopes that, with more than 100 reg­is­tra­tions for the ju­niors, they can take a big­ger team to na­tion­als next year.

Tight knit: The eight ju­nior life savers from the Ti­tahi Bay club, clockwise from left, Alan McVicar, Maya Still­well, Liam McVicar, Kaitlin Cor­lett, Mia Uluile­lata, Alex Jones, Luisa Still­well and Caitlin Clarke.

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