Clubs’ swell league de­but

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - SPORT -

Af­ter months of tire­less train­ing, Bin­ningup and Bun­bury surf life­sav­ing club mem­bers made their de­but in round one of the WA Surf League in Perth on De­cem­ber 9.

Only two years old, the com­pe­ti­tion this year in­tro­duced a youth cat­e­gory, open­ing up the op­por­tu­nity for bud­ding South West ath­letes to pit their skills against some of the best ope­nage ath­letes in the State.

The event took place at North Cottes­loe, which played host to swim­ming, board and ski races and beach sprints.

Bin­ningup ath­letes held their own, with Julia Dwyer plac­ing fifth in the open fe­male beach flags, while fel­low ath­lete Matt Cas­sidy placed sev­enth in the open male beach flags.

Bin­ningup di­rec­tor of surf sports Ruth Nan­dapi said it was a great op­por­tu­nity for the club to com­bine with the big­ger Bun­bury group.

“It gave some of our more com­pet­i­tive ath­letes a chance to com­pete against all the Perth clubs,” she said.

Mrs Nan­dapi said she was proud of her 13-year-old daugh­ter Mia run­ning against open men.

“They all cer­tainly did our club proud, we’re a very small club but we’ve got some very tal­ented ath­letes,” she said.

City of Bun­bury Surf Life Sav­ing Club surf sports di­rec­tor James Dun­can said the ath­letes had been train­ing re­lent­lessly lead­ing up to the event.

“They’ve been do­ing 10 to 12 ses­sions a week,” he said.

“Get­ting in the pool and then to the beach for board and ski work.”

New mem­ber Paige Stegmann com­peted in her first open board race on the day and placed ninth against other metro ath­letes.

But Kate Lock­ley stole the show, plac­ing third in the youth iron­woman and sev­enth in the open fe­male surf race.

The event gave ath­letes the chance not only to com­pete against metro teams, but catch the at­ten­tion of scouts for the State team, which will be an­nounced to­mor­row.

“This new, short-for­mat com­pe­ti­tion pro­vided a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for some of us smaller, re­gional clubs and our ath­letes to come to­gether and cre­ate a com­bined pres­ence to com­pete against some of the big­ger metro teams,” Mr Dun­can said.

“This is an event where ev­ery­one can just come look at your ef­forts for State tri­als.”

Tri­als were held ear­lier this month for the State team and Mr Dun­can said the South West had “quite a con­tin­gent”.

Bun­bury Surf Life Sav­ing Club com­peti­tor Kate Lock­ley, 14, charges ahead of a Trigg ath­lete in the fi­nal leg of the iron­woman event.

Ath­letes take off in the board race.

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