The SPAR Sola Suncare 2019 Lifesaving KZN Surf Nipper Championships hosted by Marine SLC at Addington Beach this weekend will see the cream of the country’s junior lifesavers in action, including a brand new IronMan event that will add a new dimension to the competition.
While the event attracts athletes from eight different surf lifesaving clubs from the breadth of the provinces coast line, the contest will almost certainly see a return clash between the Nipper giants Umhlanga Rocks and Durban Surf that provided a thrilling showdown last year, with the youngsters from Marine and Pirates closing in on the pacesetters.
The lower South Coast clubs of Warnerdoone and Scottburgh have been running successful programmes in the schools that will see them stronger for this year’s KZN Nippers Champs.
The new IronMan competition, which will be staged around midday on Sunday, serves a number of purposes, in addition to adding a new spectacle to the event.
“The Nipper programme is huge in Durban! It is very well supported, but the transition to senior lifesaving events can be quite hard, so this event will serve as an introduction to some of the disciplines that are key to the next step in their surf lifesaving careers,” said tournament director Russell Sadler.
The IronMan races, consisting of swim, board and ski legs, will start with 16 athletes and will be reduced by one-third at each heat until the final field is decided.
The Nipper KZN Championships sees boys and girls aged between eight to thirteen years of age participating in various Lifesaving disciplines such as Surf Swim, Body Board, Malibu Board, Beach Sprints, Long Run, Iron Man, Beach Flags and various other relay events.
“These events are used to teach children about beach safety and how to handle the ocean and lifesaving techniques,” said Sadler, who is also managing the Marine SLC Nippers team.
“There is a major emphasis on the fun element of Nippers with the hope that these youngsters become the Lifesavers of the future who will one day watch over the bathing public,” he added.
SPAR Sola Suncare 2019 Lifesaving KZN Surf Nipper Championships at Addington Beach, Durban. Dates:
Saturday 26th January 2019 – 12:00 – 17:00
Sunday 27th January 2019 – 7:00 – 16:00.