Nippers at the forefront

Ocean Grove's Tia McNaughton lining up for the Board Race Final. 176311 Picture: Nish Photography

By Mark Heenan

Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club Junior Activities Manager Darren Ball praised his team’s nipper performances after the first state junior carnival at Altona on Saturday.
More than 70 Ocean Grove SLSC competitors participated in the first Life Saving Victoria summer nipper competition this season held in bay conditions at Altona Life Saving Club on 16 December.
Ball said there were some fantastic results in team and individual events across all age groups.
“Team events were brilliant across the board, we got first and seconds pretty much in most of the team events,” Ball told the Voice.
“Having a look all the results across the board we did really well for amount of competitors we had there.”
Star Ocean Grove competitor Marcus Bird was a standout on day, he won the Under 14 Boys Iron Race.
Bird claimed a second place in Under 14 Boys Surf Board race, Under 14 Boys Surf Race, Under Boys Beach Flags and also came fourth in Under 14 Boys Beach Sprint.
Nine of 10 Ocean Grove SLSC Under 12 boys made the Boys Iron final.
Sienna Stewart competed well with a series of first-placed finishes and placings.
Ball highlighted the star team performance of Cookie Robinson and Emily Joyce after the Ocean Grove pair won the Under 11 Mixed 2 Person Rescue and Resuscitation.
“They actually won it … that is a brilliant outcome for them – a huge highlight,” Ball said.
Ball said the day would not be possible without the generous support of Ocean Grove SLSC nipper parents who donated their time.
Ocean Grove SLSC volunteers and helpers arrived prior to 8am for a competition start on the Saturday morning after a 90-minute trip to Altona from the Bellarine Peninsula.
“You look at it a lot of volunteer hours just to make a competition run,” Ball said.
The next state junior carnival will be held at Cosy Corner in Torquay on Friday 5 January in the new year.