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Juniors to hone their skills in the sand and sea

Supplied image.

More than 400 young water-smart Kiwis will be enjoying Mount Maunganui’s Omanu Beach this weekend at one of the first Surf Life Saving Eastern Region sport carnivals of the season.

The Bay of Plenty Junior Championships will be held this Sunday December 16 at Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

The event has attracted registrations from throughout the North Island.

Young athletes from 14 years old down to under eight-year-olds will compete in a range of surf lifesaving sports events like beach sprints, flag runs, swims, board paddling, and team relay events.

"It should be an exciting competition, and the forecast shows we’re expecting good weather conditions with a very small swell, so our athletes should have a fun day,” says Surf Life Saving Eastern Region sport manager Mark Inglis.

The events grow the young athletes’ experience and skill levels in and around the water, and are an exciting way to engage youngsters in learning about surf lifesaving. The older juniors can also work with their clubs toward becoming our next group of volunteer lifeguards, he says.

The number of entries was strong this year, which would mean dozens of exciting races for the youngsters.

“It’s a festive time of year and our junior events always have a great atmosphere, as our athletes get to test their skills against other young athletes.

“Come on down to Omanu Surf Life Saving Club and watch the future champions of our sport racing, while they also hone their skills to hopefully become surf lifeguards too.”

Next year’s national Surf Life Saving U14 Championships, known as the Oceans, will also be held at Main Beach, Mt Maunganui, on March 7 to 10 where a lot of these athletes are expected to take part.

That event will be followed by the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships, the biggest SLSNZ sport event of the year, which is also set to be held at Mt Maunganui’s Main Beach, from March 21 to 24.

More information about the Bay of Plenty Junior Championships can be found on the Surf Life Saving New Zealand website.

 

Summary by Association

Participants

Fitzroy SLSC

2

Mairangi Bay SLSC

7

Midway SLSC

25

Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service

82

Omanu SLSC

92

Opotiki SLSC

2

Orewa SLSC

12

Papamoa SLSC

34

Pukehina Surf Rescue

29

Red Beach SLSC

1

Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc

42

Waikanae SLSC

12

Wainui SLSC

6

Whakatane SLSC

42

Whangamata SLSC

26

Total

414

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