The 2019 Queensland Youth State Surf Life Saving Championships will return to Burleigh Heads this weekend, 50 years on from the inaugural competition which was hosted in the very same location.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s largest and most prestigious youth surf sport competition will feature around 1,600 of the state’s young surf sport athletes.
Competitors ranging from under 11’s through to under 15’s will battle it out in 1km and 2km beach runs, beach flags and sprints, surf race, surf board, and ironman and ironwoman competitions.
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Participants will also compete in team beach relay, board relay, cameron relay and surf team events, after having qualified through their respective Branch Championships.
The return to Burleigh on the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Youth State Championships is fitting as Surf Life Saving Queensland also celebrates 50 years of Nippers this season.
SLSQ Sports Manager Stuart Hogben said this weekend’s event was the pinnacle of the Nippers calendar, marking the end of the season and the beginning of winter sports.
“Like the majority of surf sport events, the Youth State Championships have been designed to test the fundamental lifesaving skills that are used every week to patrol and protect Queensland’s coastline,” he said.
“It’s inspiring to see so many young surf lifesavers lining up to compete.
“Participation is key to surf lifesaving – it’s all about getting out there and giving it your best shot, and that’s what makes this such a fantastic event each year.”
Mr Hogben said the Youth State Championships were a great opportunity to engage with younger members and develop future champions of the sport.
“The event is an ideal training ground for young competitors who want to become the next Shannon Eckstein or Jordan Mercer, but more importantly, it’s also a fantastic way to keep kids motivated, active, and involved in the surf lifesaving movement.”
Mr Hogben said the carnival event was a favourite among locals, both within and beyond the surf lifesaving community.
“Trust me, if you are yet to experience surf sport, you won’t be disappointed. The competition allows our athletes to showcase fantastic lifesaving skills while gaining recognition for their sporting efforts at the same time,” he said.
“It’s these skills which ultimately save thousands of lives every year so I’d love to see locals cheering our athletes on as they strive for glory.”