A BIG contingent of nippers from the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club tested themselves against competitors from around the state on Saturday.
A group of 48 nippers made the trip to Jan Jac for round four of the junior state nippers carnival.
The Warrnambool entrants contested events ranging from the under 9 to under 16 age groups.
Among the standout performers were Elke Aulsebrook who excelled in the boards and 500-metre run events, and Hayden Carr and Brayden Casamento who performed well in the under 13 board rescue event.
The nippers are part of the Warrnambool club’s 60-strong competition squad which trains twice a week.
Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club nippers co-ordinator Dean Kilpatrick said the chance to compete in carnivals was a valuable experience for the nippers.
“The carnivals are really good for the fitness of the nippers and it also gives them some exposure to different conditions,” Kilpatrick said.
“It helps them to improve for the competitions and also in the long-term to learn skills they can use to help save lives when they are patrolling the beaches.”
This year the club has more than 200 nippers, most of whom are expected to hit the beach on Saturday morning for the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club championships.
Kilpatrick said the Warrnambool club had an all-local membership which ensured the rate of nippers taking part in events such as the club championships was strong.
While clubmates will compete against each other on Saturday, it will be a case of all working together when Warrnambool hosts the Victorian Junior Championships on March 8-9. More than 1500 competitors are expected to take part.