Benalla A CFA was the grand aggregate winner of the Victorian Junior Fire Brigades Championships that drew thousands of people to Friendly Societies’ Park at the weekend.
The Tatura A team was second and Sale A third in the championships that involved 75 teams from across Victoria and one team from Esperance in Western Australia.
Warrnambool Fire Brigade was the host and is set to play that role again for the Senior Fire Brigades Championships from March 9-11.
Warrnambool brigade spokesman David Ferguson said teams of young brigade volunteers aged from 11 to 17 competed over two days in both wet and dry competitions that involved hoses, hydrants and hosing water at targets.
Mr Ferguson said the competition aimed to build a culture of volunteerism among the young competitors as well as build up their teamwork skills and fitness.
“They learn the basic skills of firefighting that they can carry forward into senior (CFA) ranks,” Mr Ferguson said.
He said organisers had received lots of positive feedback from participants who had enjoyed the warm weather in Warrnambool over the weekend.
Many of the young competitors, particularly those from inland Victoria, had enjoyed swimming in Lady Bay when they were not competing, he said.
Friendly Societies’ Park was packed with tents of the participating brigades, and the crowd was swelled by the families and supporters of the young competitors.
The under 14 years overall aggregate champion was Tatura A, with Sale A second. The winner of the under 17 overall aggregate was Benalla A, with Wendouree A the runner-up .