The future of surf lifesaving will be on show at the Gold Coast this Thursday (April 27), when more almost 200 youngsters hit the surf and sand as part of an exciting carnival being rolled out by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) and The University of Queensland (UQ).
The second annual UQ Secondary School Surf League Championships will see students from high schools across South East Queensland line up at Coolangatta to compete in a raft of surf sports events across the day.
The competition seeks to introduce high-school children to competitive surf lifesaving, and allows them to learn and hone new skills, all while testing their abilities against the surf and other youngsters their age.
The championship event builds upon the successful Surf League competition which has been rolled out in regional locations across the state for more than a decade.
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan OAM said it was a great way to increase participation in competitive surf lifesaving while, at the same time, engaging with students from across the state.
“The UQ Secondary School Surf League is a great opportunity for us to showcase surf lifesaving and encourage healthy lifestyles and active participation in sporting competition,” he said.
“Queensland is home to some of the fittest and fastest lifesavers across Australia and right around the world, and it’s really exciting to think that this competition could uncover the next ironman or ironwoman champion.
“In addition to that, it’s a great way to help young students develop confidence and surf safety skills in and around the water.
“It’s a wonderful initiative and we’re really proud to be partnering with UQ to help spread surf lifesaving and introduce hundreds of young competitors to the sport in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment,” he said.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Iain Watson said the event was an investment in leaders of tomorrow.
“The same way that we are certain great community leaders will graduate from our lecture theatres, we are similarly assured future champions will arise from the junior ranks of SLSQ,” Professor Watson said.
“We believe providing the first step for high school students to get involved in surf events is vital.
“UQ is home to current students who are active Surf Life Saving members, and also home to students who may one day be caught in need of the Life Savers’ critical service.
“There are values we admire and encourage that are inherent in every person who patrols Queensland’s beaches for the safety of the wider population.”
The UQ Secondary School Surf League Championships will commence at Coolangatta on Thursday, 27 April, at 9am and will wrap up at approximately 2:30pm.