While the Life Saving Victoria 2019-20 aquatic sports season has been far from business as usual for the state’s many talented lifesaving athletes, especially owing to the season’s early finish, there have been some standout performances worth celebrating.
The 2020 Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships were held at Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) in March, presenting some fantastic upcoming athletes to contribute to the future of the sport.
With more than1200 athletes heading down to Warrnambool SLSC for the weekend, the beach bustled with bodies, life and a healthy competitive vibe. The weekend explored a 2.5-day event schedule for the first time, allowing for more athletes to compete in each event and holding many finals on the Monday, the final day of competition.
Ocean Grove SLSC once again competed incredibly strongly across the board, with more than 60 top three finishes in finals and securing first place on 411 points at the conclusion of the weekend.
Mentone LSC finished up in second place, scoring 267 points with Mornington LSC and Mordialloc LSC coming in a close third and fourth.
Jemma Holt competed well for Mordialloc LSC in the under 13 girl’s division, taking home six gold medals, one silver medal and the under 13 Water Female Champion medal for her efforts. She recorded multiple first place finishes across a number of individual finals, including Ironwoman and Surf Race and another few golds in team events including Surf Teams and Board Relay.
Holt also represented Mordialloc LSC in the annual March Past, where 13 clubs competed for honours with Mordialloc LSC coming out on top.
LSV Aquatic Sports Manager Kirsty Clark said the march past was a highlight and all participants represented their clubs well.
“Mordialloc LSC did a fantastic job taking out the gold medal for the march past and was followed closely by Point Leo SLSC in second,” she said.
Anglesea SLSC also presented well over the course of the weekend, with one athlete in particular showing true sportsmanship in every event he competed in.
Josh McKenzie congratulated each of his competitors throughout the under 12 Boys Beach Flags event, from heats to finals. Despite finishing second in the final, McKenzie proved that support and congratulatory handshakes come first; even if you don’t.
“Congratulations to the winners as well as all our talented competitors, who have shown great strength and determination this weekend and have all the makings of future lifesavers.
With the uncertainty of the much-discussed coronavirus, many events scheduled in the coming months have been both postponed and cancelled by LSV and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA).
Clark noted that the obvious disappointment from the lifesaving community was understandable.
“While everyone is feeling the disappointment of the cancellations, people understand why we made the decision to cancel the 2020 Senior Lifesaving Championships, and why SLSA has cancelled the 2020 Australian Lifesaving Championships.
“Community safety and health is of the utmost importance to LSV and we continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure our decisions are informed and following government advice,” said Clark.
LSV’s Aquatic Sport department is ensuring the support and engagement of the lifesaving community is being continued through the recently adapted Facebook group ‘LSV Sport Forum’, encouraging all members to get involved and use the #lsvstayactive.
Congratulations to all athletes, clubs and volunteers for your efforts over the season once again.
LSV’s Health Alerts page has all the latest information relating to COVID-19, including a list of cancelled and postponed events.