MORE THAN 500 COMPETITORS DESCEND ON MACKAY FOR 2022 NORTH AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Clubs from Hervey Bay to Port Douglas, from nippers through to Masters age groups, took part in the North ‘Aussies’ with Club honours on the line as competitors battled it out in beach, ocean, pool and surf boats events.
Surf Life Saving Queensland Sport Manager Stuart Hogben said the North Aussies is always a great event that celebrates the best competitors from across northern Queensland.
“The North Australian Championships is a fantastic festival of surf sports, bringing together clubs from right across the northern regions,” Hogben said.
“This year, we had more than 500 competitors battling it out over three big days of competition in Mackay.
“The conditions were very warm, the sun was shining and it was great to see so many smiles on the faces of everyone involved.
“A big thank you to all the volunteers and officials that make events like this possible, we couldn’t do it without you.
“And congratulations to the clubs and competitors, and a special mention to our overall pointscore winners Emu Park SLSC,” he said.
Emu Park SLSC Team Manager, Michelle McRae, said the club is riding a high after being crowned the overall North Aussies pointscore Champions.
“We are on a high and a little in shock after the results of the weekend. It was a massive team effort and one that every single competitor contributed to.
“We finished third last year which was our best result [to date]. But around six years ago we decided we wanted to rebuild at Emu Park Club and invest in our nippers with dedicated coaching, knowing they would then go onto our senior ranks.
“So while we are a little in shock, it has also been years of planning and hard work.
“We have such a team focus at Emu Park… for us its not just about the results but working together as a Club.
“We had 57 competitors travel to North Aussies meaning we could enter in almost all team events. We have also seen a big growth in our Masters competitors, some new and some returning to the Club after time away. We instill belief that it’s not all about winning but being part of the team, being part of the Club,” she said.
Cairns SLSC Surf Sports Officer Carolyn Hudson said it was a very proud weekend for the club, winning the Pool Rescue and Junior pointscores, and finishing second overall.
“It was a great weekend for us to head down to Mackay and compete against other clubs from outside our branch,” Hudson said.
“North Aussies is always very competitive, but it was nice to see some great camaraderie over the weekend as well.
“We have some really strong juniors coming through, and it was so great to see them perform really well over the weekend,” she said.
Arcadian SLSC won the Masters point score, finished third in the overall point score and had a number of members take out their respective Age Champions categories.
But Arcadian’s Tracey Stone said while the club is always proud of results, the highlight was having so many club members involved.
“The North Aussies was fantastic for our club – we had the biggest team we’ve ever had, and everyone from our juniors right through to masters put in so much effort,” Stone said.
“We were all saying on the weekend that it was Arcadian village, it took a village to get us all there and get us all through and we’re very proud of our team.
“It’s a real community that we have at Arcadian, and we were all so proud to see it come together in Mackay,” she said.