Thank you to Abie Parsons for writing the following report: –

A team of 35 nipper members and their families made the long journey to Wales to represent team Hayle in the Surf Life Saving National Championships  at the magnificent Cardiff International Swimming pool on Saturday 21st April.  Aged between 7 and 13, for some it was their very first experience of competition at this level with Alanis Treloar, Callum Jolly and Kayden Gordon-Dunn all competing in youngest age group.

In the 13 year old category, Jenna Smitham, Morva Hughes, Finn Burford and Jacob Friday were taking part in their last competition as nippers before they move on to new challenges in the junior section of the club and were also entitled to compete in the youth competition on Sunday for their first taster of Junior competition.

After training every Saturday evening at Penzance pool all winter, this was a chance to showcase the skills the nippers have learnt whilst competing against members of other surf life saving clubs from all over Britain.  The children all took part in three individual races that demonstrate vital skills and the use of equipment associated with different elements of life saving as well as a number of exciting team events.

The Hayle team did very well in the Flipper and Manikin races, collecting four medals in each event with lots of the club members being placed in the top 16 and collecting points towards the total final score of 691.  The manikin carry presented a particular challenge to the oldest competitors who had to tow full manikins which weighs 8 and a half stone for 25metres!

In the board races, Morva Hughes who has dominated the board events in both the sea and pool throughout her Nipper career looked delighted to take gold in her last ever individual race as a nipper.

The team events, watched by an excited crowd, included a new race this year added by the organisers, Surf LifeSaving GB; a board relay involving teams of four and lots of tricky change-overs.

497 nipper competitors took part in the competition from 21 different Surf Lifesaving Clubs and at the conclusion of a long, thrilling day Hayle were placed 5th overall (3rd Cornish Club) with the Woolacombe team from Devon crowned champions.  This was a brilliant result that reflects the hard work and dedication of all the Hayle volunteers who give up their time to coach the children under the direction of team manager Traci Parker who wanted to congratulate the children and thank their parents for their support, especially Gerard Hughes, Simon Lewis and Kate Smitham who were event officials.

These championships concluded the winter pool season and next weekend (Sun 29 April) sees the return of the nippers to the sea.

Individual Medals: –

Mia Rule – girls 9 yrs Flipper Race –  bronze. Tanni smitham – girls 10 yrs Flipper Race – bronze. Lily Parsons – girls 11 yrs Flipper Race – gold. Steven Lewis – boys 12 years Flipper Race – silver.

Morva Hughes – girls 13 yrs Board Race – gold.

Alanis Treloar – girls 8yrs Manikin – bronze Callum Jolly – boys 8yrs Manikin – silver. Katie Smith – girls 10yrs Manikin – silver. Connor Keeler – boys 12 yrs Manikin – gold.

Team Medals: –

Poppy Burford and Lily Parsons- girls 11 yrs Tube Rescue – gold. Steven Lewis and Sam Smith – boys 12 yrs Tube Rescue – bronze.

Lily Parsons and Niamh Symons – girls 11 yrs Board Rescue – bronze.

Morva Hughes and Jenna Smitham – girls 13yrs Board Rescue – silver.

Members of the Hayle team : –

Finn Burford, Poppy Burford, Robyn Coatsworth, Ben Friday, Jacob Friday, Dempsey Henderson, Callum Jolly, Kayden Gordon-Dunn, Millie Gordon-Dunn, Morva Hughes, Connor Keeler, Ross Keeler, Lewis King, Steven Lewis, Maya Masi, Ruben Masi, Jago Mottart, Steren Mottart, Adam Palmer, Lily Parsons, Harley Perry, Kelsi Perry, Archie Pickin, Max Pickin, Edan Regan, Mia Rule, Katie Smith, Sam Smith, Jenna Smitham, Tanni Smitham, Niamh Symons, Finley Terry, Kaitlyn Terry, Alanis Treloar and Ethan Treloar.

The team came home with 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 6 Bronze medals with the boys (for a change) finishing in a higher position overall than the girls.  Boys were 5th with 338.50 pnts and the girls were 6th with 332.50 pnts.

For the full results please click on the following link http://www.slsgb.org.uk/main.aspx?PageID=16&ResultsCategoryID=15

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