Fingal Beach host 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Club Interbranch Championship

The Fingal Beach Surf Life Saving Club Interbranch team.

DURING the weekend of 2-3 December 2023, Fingal Beach Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC) hosted the NSW Interbranch SLSC Championship for the first time in its 59 year history.

The event is a collaboration between NSW, Hunter Branch and Fingal Beach SLSC, with over 450 competitors from all over the state descending upon a rather overcast Fingal Bay from early Saturday morning.

Also for the first time in its history, the Club has a female President, Jo Cooper.

“I started Surf Life Saving in 1999, and later got involved with patrolling for Fingal SLSC in 2018,” said Jo.

“I became Vice-Captain, then Vice-President, and was elected President this season.

“Being President involves overseeing the club itself, its eight voluntary committee members, and a total of 480 people from Nippers to Patrol Members and Associates.

“Next year will be our 60th Birthday, so we are aiming to have a long celebratory weekend starting with a barbeque on the Friday and a nice dinner on the Saturday evening.”

Amongst the many NSW Clubs that entered Under 12 to Under 17 Teams this weekend, Hunter Under 14s and local Captain Ryan Pietrasek was excited to compete.

“I’ve been involved with Fingal since starting with Nippers when I was four years old,” said Ryan.

“Today is best of the best on water and sand versus the rest of the best in NSW and I hope we’ll do well.”

After an early start of 5:30 am on Saturday morning with Fingal members organising safety and first aid and most importantly firing up the barbie, the courses were set and the multi-coloured marquees of the many clubs from NSW lined the beach.

At 7:30 am, local Worimi Elder Uncle John Ridgeway gave the Welcome to Country to kick off proceedings.

Magically, the rain immediately stopped and the teams began warming up for the day’s events.

With the weather being sunny and perfect surf conditions for Sunday, day two was again full of exciting action for NSW finest young athletes.

Ryan came first in the Cameron Relay with his team mates from Swansea, Belmont and Cooks Hill.

Congratulations to all the team members from an amazing eleven different NSW clubs during a fantastic and successful weekend.

For full results and more information on joining Nippers or contacting the club, visit

By Simon EKINS

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