SURF’S UP: Sisters Pia and Rose Hollywood can’t wait until the 2014 NSW Stramit Country Surf Life Saving Championships. The girls are pictured with Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club members Makenzi Ring, Les O’Sullivan, Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Joanna Gash, Adam Woodward and Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club senior vice president John Patterson. MOLLYMOOK Surf Life Saving Club will again host one of the biggest events on the surf sports calendar, the 2015 NSW Stramit Country Surf Life Saving Championships.
Shoalhaven City Council successfully secured a bid to host the event in Mollymook for 2014 and 2015, and the 2014 titles in January this year brought more than 1250 competitors to the beach and an estimated $5 million dollars in economic benefits to the region.
The three-day 2015 championships, to be held from January 16 to 18, are expected to be even bigger, with more than 1500 competitors and a predicted 5000 spectators to descend on Mollymook Beach.
Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club senior vice presidentJohn Patterson said the club was thrilled to host the titles again as they were great for the whole town.
Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club member Les O’Sullivan said the visiting clubs loved the venue.
“A lot of the clubs like it here because they can park over the road and walk straight out onto the beach,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Mr Patterson said the volunteers were the unsung heroes of the event and he is asking anyone who helped out in 2014 to consider lending a hand again, even if it is only for an hour or two.
“We would be lost without them,” he said.
“The volunteers are fully catered for during the day. They don’t have to be here all day, they can just come for an hour or so. Last year we had two young girls who came in just to clean glasses, which was a massive help.”
For the committee, organising the event is a year-long activity and they spend a week beforehand setting up. During the three days of competition they are up before dawn and work long into the night to ensure it is a success.
“We really have a super club,” Mr Patterson said.
“But we are praying for good weather, that’s the cream on the cake.”
The Stramit NSW Country Championships is a unique event only open to clubs outside metropolitan areas.
It gives country athletes a chance to compete at the highest level, to continue their preparation for state and national titles and drive their club to supremacy in the junior, senior and overall point scores.
Sisters Pia and Rose Hollywood can’t wait to jump into the action in January.
The girls were born into the Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club and are known for their enthusiasm and dedication to enter every event they can.
Pia, 11, will compete in the under 12s division in most events, although her favourite are the land activities of sprints and flags.
Last championships she earned two silver medals in the beach sprint relay and the board, swim, run relay.
“I hope to get a place and at least make the finals. I always try to go in everything so hopefully I have a chance,” she said.
Her sister Rose, 8, will be out to defend her title in the sprint after claiming gold at the last championships.
Rose also earned silver in the flags, gold as part of the under eight relay team and will be one to watch in the under 9 division.
Rose said she liked competing at the country champs because she got to make new friends and test herself against new competitors.
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