Salute of our little champions


Ron Lane

Despite age and size, the members of the Noosa Seahorse Nippers are definitely young athletes to be admired. When their programs are once again activated, along with their families and minders, they gather on Noosa’s Main Beach for a morning of swimming , board paddling and running. The smiles on the faces of these boys and girls, plus the high fives that are given around the beach, tells us, one and all, that you don’t have to be a Nutri Grain champion to enjoy the pleasures of sport.

What the founding members of the Seahorse Nippers, Steve and Nickie Mawby, have done is without a doubt one of the greatest achievements, not only in Noosa but also in Queensland Surf Lifesaving. Such is the results gained that all Life Members and Old Boys of Noosa are now of the opinion that what they need to continue their journey, is theirs for the asking.

Once again, the Noosa Seahorse Program resumes at Noosa’s Main Beach this Saturday 10 February at 8am : and as always, the support teams will rally to the cause. The minders (all qualified life savers) the family groups, the Bus Boys, recorders and Moggies Surf Club staff. But perhaps the most pleasing aspect is that they will welcome 42 participants and four new families.

The program continues Saturday 17 February and on Saturday 24 February they will have their local presentation and awards day with Patrons Dawn Fraser and yours truly in attendance. On the fourth week of March, Saturday 2nd the Noosa crew will be joined by 3 to 4 other surf clubs from South East Queensland: also running similar programs.

Program co-ordinator who hails from North Burleigh said, “ These families are so excited over the opportunity to make a weekend around this event as they don’t often get the opportunity to have a holiday.” To make this possible, behind the scene many, in the community are assisting including Tourism Noosa and the team at the RACV Resort.

This joint program will be a great opportunity for participants , families, carers and volunteers to make new friends, have fun exchange high fives, ride a few waves together and build skills and confidence around our beach and surf environment. These programs are regularly supported by our friends at Sunshine Beach Surf Club led by club captain, John Reeves.

This joint project is the first step to establishing an annual day at Noosa that focuses on the following.

1. Programs in surf lifesaving for participants with a disability.

2. Accessibility and support to the patrol areas for such people.

3. Thus, a pathway into surf lifesaving be created : something that up till now, has been non existing.

Rowing. Surf boats.

It has been a great weekend for the Noosa surf boat section. Under the guidance of boat sweep Mick Gardner his reserve grade men’s crew is leading the charge. This crew known as the Dodos, consist of all four rowers being from the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Union Club: and as with lots of football clubs around Australia, its lifesaving in summer and football in winter.

They have really taken to the sport and as a result, they could be a threat when the big events, State and National titles are up for grabs. On the weekend they came first in the open men’s reserve final, winning against some of Queensland best. Noosa’s U19 men’s crew, the Noisy Minors sweep by Stu Cooper, came second in the same division, after competing in their own division earlier in the day. This crew normally rows as U19s, but after finishing second in the reserves, they decided that they would mix it with the big boys. Their overall performance during the day, contesting a total of nine races, saw them, still rowing strong at days end.

Dave Tomb’s, U23’s rowing under the mysterious name of the Pterodactyls, started slow but once their stroking improved, they were virtually unstoppable: winning their division by some distance. They then also took that form into the open men’s reserve grade, dominating the heats. However, they missed the podium finish due to an injury of a crew member at the start of the final race. This crew definitely has the potential to go all the way.

Not to be outdone the U19 girls crew, the Noosa Roadrunners, in three heats took a first and two seconds. These results took them through to the final where they finished in second place. Summing up the crews team manager Adam Hammersley said, “All crews did a great job rowing at Mermaid Beach in some very tricky conditions. In two weeks, these crews and others from Noosa will head to Lorne to represent our club in the ASRL opens. They are looking good so we could achieve some great results.

It has been good to see the Noosa Dolphins Rugby boys come into the club as this helps keep the Rugby /Surf club tradition alive and well. It is now a well- known fact, that the very first meeting of the Noosa Dolphin’s Rugby Club, was held in the bar of the surf lifesavers supporter club. When it came to choosing club colours, somebody present suggested that as the meeting was being held in the Noosa Surf Club, whose colours were maroon and white, why not as a gesture of thanks, adopt the same colours. The motion was carried.

Also present that night as bar manager, was Robin Ford who was to become something of a legend as a Dolphins supporter. Now through the years Max Gunthorpe rowed boats for Noosa and also became President of the rugby club. More recently Donald McKill, patrol captain on Noosa’s Main Beach also went on to hold the chair as President of the Dolphins.

Another bit of sporting history tells us, that under Noosa Surf Club manager Anton Mogg, whenever the Dolphins A grade make the Grand Final, the Surf Club plays host to a team breakfast on the day of the final.

Nutri Grain.

Next week we talk to Lana Rogers who, last weekend, returned to the winners podium when she crossed the line in the final of the Nutri Grain Iron Woman Series. Also, a chat with Sunshine’s Electra Outram, a young lady who is now, definitely on the rise in the Nutri Grain Serie: after finishing in 4th place.