Lifesavers represent Victoria

Iestyn Knapp, Campbell Asher, James Leahy, coach Sonia Kinsey, Charlie Leahy, Pippi McIntyre, Zoe Honey, Mackenzie Hooper and Steph Reade. (Justin Flynn) 203518

By Justin Flynn

By Justin Flynn

Ocean Grove senior surf lifesavers sacrificed their school holidays to train and compete in the Interstate Challenge in Queensland.

A number of Ocean Grove senior team members were selected to represent their respective state teams for events at Alexander Headlands beach on the Sunshine Coast.

The annual competition is a points challenge that puts state against state in a number of water and beach events, in two competitions- one a youth, and the other a senior teams challenge.

Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club head coach and Victorian team manager Sonia Kinsey said Ocean Grove was well represented, especially in the youth team, with seven youngsters being selected to represent Victoria.

“This is a very exciting time for the club at the moment, as I have a large number of dedicated young athletes who have spent a lot of their school holidays training to reach goals such as this one,” she said.

“These kids have been training most days of the week, sometimes twice a day from mid-June and are to be congratulated on their efforts and dedication.”

Four Ocean Grove athletes were also selected in the senior Victorian team, two recently competing for the state in pool lifesaving as well.

After the Alexandra Headlands event, the senior Ocean Gove competition team travelled to Sydney to compete in the annual Australia Day weekend surf carnivals, held on the iconic Manly beach and Freshwater.

The two carnivals are a stepping stone to the Victorian and Australian titles which will be held in the coming months.

This team, comprising 30 athletes ranging from 13 to 19 years old, will compete in a number of events over two days, such as the Ironman and women racing, board and ski racing, swimming, beach sprints and team events.

“We have a number of very good athletes competing in a variety of events, achieving some very good results,” Kinsey said.

“Our under-17 girls managed to win both their taplin and board teams event, and Lex McNaughton worked hard in the final to get second in the under-17 female ski race.

“Our senior males did a large number of events with many making finals and placing in the top 10, all very good results in high quality fields.

“What was very pleasing to see was the depth of the juniors that we are now starting to have in our teams and that was evident in some good results in both the under-14 boys and under-15 girls races.”

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